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GCA and thrush/candida

Anyone having trouble with thrush in mouth or candida? Supposed to get another test next week, but have to go off acidolphilus and probiotics to do the test which will make it worse. Using peroxide and water to clear the thrush in the mouth. But not sure what is left to eat. Can't eat fruit/sugar, carbs turn to sugar have to watch my sodium as have high blood pressure from the prednisone now and just read dairy is bad except for yogurt. Just don't know what is left to eat? Any suggestions. Also terrible diarrhea from the prednisone, BP medication, zantac for the stomach and aspirin. Dr. right when she said this is not an easy disease. Still trying not to take the Methotrexate, but picked it up to take with the prednisone, as that also causes diarrhea which know that depletes our body of good and bad bacteria causing the candida. Am back up to 40 mg. prednisone but hoping maybe to have it lowered more slowly this time. Happy MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL YOU MOTHERS OUT THERE!

21 Replies

Oh dear - Thrush is a DRAG, as is all the rest of it!

I'm also on a low-carb, low sodium diet (<1000 mg/day), so I'm here to report that it can be done..... however, there are serious caveats.... low sodium basically means cutting out ALL processed foods (frozen or canned), ALL breads and most grains. Re low carb: the quantity of refined carbs you eat are important.

Re candida: Be sure to drink lots of water. Add probiotics back as soon as you can (NO enzymes tho' - they can irritate your stomach). A no-sugar vitamin C supplement (if it doesn't bother your stomach) and a little daily probiotic food like yogurt (unsweetened!) helps. Eat at least 50 gms of lean proteins daily. Obviously, avoid raw veggies until the diarrhea slows down (cook them very well to weaken fiber strands). Suggest you steer clear of alkaline foods, antacids and acid blockers (like zantac, if you can get off it), if possible. Candida actually thrives in an alkaline intestine, so acid inhibits candida (there's a reason it's called "acidophilus"). Coconut milk is supposed to have some natural anti-fungals (all acids), but I haven't tried it and you will need to have only unsweetened... You will probably even need to decrease fruits for a little while until the thrush gets under control.

Eating out is tricky w/ low-sodium -- I usually have to order off the menu and grill the waiter (no pun intended) re sodium contents (usually the chef can recommend the lowest sodium choices).

I cook most of my own food, bring my lunch to work and have gotten very proficient (and crazy creative) with spices. I get most of my carbs from vegetables & a few fruits & I usually eat no refined carbs like desserts, breads or pastas -- or very rarely, as a treat. I find that the the thing about carbs & sugars is that once I have even a little, I always want more.. much MUCH more... (high blood sugar spike followed by low blood sugar = intense sugar cravings). So I personally found that cold turkey & abstinence from unrefined carbs was best for me until the cravings lessened.... Now I can handle a little unrefined carb and sugar here and there (again, quantity is critical), but I know to expect sugar cravings later....and so I know to prepare myself to tough that part out later, so I can stay off the carb hamster wheel.

The good news is that I feel so much better physically and I've lost almost 25 lbs since November, while taking 12-15 mg pred. You are on a very tough dose of pred right now, so your carb cravings will be high, no getting round it.

When I feel down re the low-carb or low-salt thing it helps me to remember my motivation (FEEL BETTER).

Google "low-sodium diets" for lots of good info. I like this site a lot:

Good luck


That's interesting - I eat almost the identical diet to you and have lost 40lbs PMR/pred weight (while still on pred) and have never had any candida problems which I used to in the early days of PMR (no pred). Hadn't associated it at all!

I haven't bought salt in the last 15 years. When I first got a microwave and used it for cooking veg you were to add salt after cooking - and I always forgot! I eat almost no processed carbs - half a bread roll once or twice a week - but I'm used to that since I have a wheat allergy (not gluten) and it makes life easier not bothering with cakes and anything in a pack that I have to read the ingredients. I don't worry about the sodium when eating out if it is occasional - but when away and unable to control what is in food I find it much more difficult and get puffy feet after a few days. Some people believe the salt bit is not so significant in BP problems so I don't worry about the odd meal out - I just find it pretty over-seasoned and even unpleasant. At least here in Italy salad and veg mostly comes unseasoned and you do it yourself!


I'm soooooo jealous that u live in Italy! SO jealous. 😉

Yea, incidence of thrush and candida in general population always shoots up over the Christmas holidays (starts at Thanksgiving here in the states - another US eat-fest).

Summer is challenging mycarb restriction a bit more than winter bc I like pasta salads.... Need to get to grocer and stock up in veggies to cook and have on hand!


Isn't it strange - I do like pasta but really not as salads! As for your jello salads - never did get the hang of them!!!!! We lived in the American sector in Germany for a long time and went to church on the base - potluck dinners... :-)

The challenge in carb restriction here in Italy is gelato...


I've always thought jello salads are so nasty... Ick! And aspic..... even worse!! 😝

But, Mmmmmm... Gelati sounds good today (getting hot here).

Godere! (in piccole quantita)💃


So glad to find they aren't to everyone's taste! Where are you? It's been 26C today and we're half way up a mountain in the Dolomites in the north. Didn't get an ice - husband said no to walking to the computer shop as he'd to carry stuff :-( Never mind - will be at Lake Garda next week...


I'm in Lexington, Kentucky: bluegrass, fast horses & bourbon🐎🏇

Temp is 30.5C now... WAY too hot for 1st half of May. We hit ~32C last wk after the Kentucky Derby. But it was beautifully sunny & I bet on the winning horse!


I've been there - well, passed through! We have friends in Toana near Richmond VA and drove from them to Kansas City along the 64 for my husband to do some work. I've really been to some strange corners of the world in the name of work!

Well done - hope you enjoyed the winnings and they were worth it and not just a case of getting your money back!!

By the way - have you seen the appeal from someone looking for other US members to chat to?


Yes, I did and I replied. We yanks have to catch up w the UK in the PMR support arena.

1 like

5 years ago there were 2 sites based in the US but they disappeared, one got taken over by aliens and registered as being dangerous! But I had already spread the word about what was here and they came over and joined us instead of me joining them.

About 8 or 9 years ago five ladies met on the PMR/GCA forum and got together to form the PMRGCAUK support groups, in the wake of one already existing in the east of England, because there was so little available. There was already one in Scotland and then the NE of England site was set up. And as we say - the rest is history. It's hard work doing it on a national scale - but if you can find others locally it isn't too difficult to have a coffee morning to get together to chat. Even in the UK people travel for up to 2 hours to join a support group once every couple of months.


i would do it locally-- def too new at this game & still too hampered by the PMR to take on a national online group. I'm still on 12 mgs and already the pain & stiffness is lurking...pouncing at the slightest over-exertio or worry... So think I have slot to learn yet about how to manage this over the long haul, should it drag on awhile..

You all are my heroes, definitely


Thank you so much


After many doctor visits and being mostly on the couch from Thanksgiving until end of December, I was diagnosed with GCA mid January and put on 60 mg. I am down to 35 mg now.

I have a sweet taste in my mouth most of the time and wonder if this is part of the thrush.


Are there any white patches in your mouth?

Be sure your doctor is checking your blood sugar too.


Thanks, Zoesquare1. No patches but some white on tongue. Bloodwork tomorrow for sed rate and CRP. I will mention to doctor when he calls with results.

I have been doing mostly the clean eating since I was diagnosed in January. But hubby does have a glucometer I could use to check my blood sugar until I speak to the doctor.


The white on ur tongue certainly could be thrush. Does it feel a little "raw" or over-sensitive?

Good to check a fasting sugar w the glucometer, just to watch the blood sugar.


Zoesquare1, it does feel weird. I see some other replies that fruit can bother it. I eat about 3 fruits a day. Think I will call family doctor tomorrow.

Will also check fasting sugar. Thanks.


I have had recurrant episodes of thrush, candida, uti, etc since stopping hrt. The best thing I found was grapefruit seed extract but can't afford it at present. Cider vinegar seems to help, and stewed cooking apples. I also have trouble with athletes foot which will not go away, i can keep it at bay but I can always feel the tingle, only on one foot though. That of course is also a fungal problem and dabbing on neat cider vinegar seems to help. I take 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar in a glass of water with my breakfast, you can take it 3 times a day.


Hi cassey1879, I have had multiple cases of oral thrush associated with fruit. Mainly melons and plums, which I love. It is the reaction to the sugar content (I think). I have had to give them up in the end. I sometimes have the same reaction with dates. I had some brief respite with natural yogurt, let it rest on your tongue and then swallow it, but then found that me and cow's yogurt are not compatible... but thanks to the suggestion of a very kind rheumy nurse, I found that goat's natural yogurt is beneficial without any problems. Well worth trying.

I hope this helps.


Dr. prescribed anti fungal lozengers 5 a day hopefully will help


My throat culture came back negative for fungal infection (Thrush) but I have white tongue and can see the white sores, which get worse when I had 100 mg. carbs other night went out to eat... Think a false negative, not recommending I go see Nose, throat and ear doctor and maybe have biopsy. This is getting ridiculous an almost comical, they don't know what to do and keep sending you to someone else. The medication lozengers helped some, because when I would miss a dose got worse. Now going to start Nystatin pill 500,000 units 3 x day, just don't want the candida to spread.


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