This Success Story about getting rid of “brain fog,” itching, warts and other problems, comes from our archives on our old website’s discussion forum. We originally published it in 2012, and it drew thousands of hits. We no longer are able to support the discussion forum, so we are republishing this article so you can read it in the author’s own words:
I hesitate to write a “success story” because I am not, strictly speaking, cured of whatever has been plaguing me for the past six years: my tongue remains coated in white, a six year-old rash persists, and I still experience brain fog. Also, I have been on more anti-candida programs than I care to count. Many of the programs worked–for a short while. But soon enough the remedies ceased to work, as others suffering from what we call “candida” can attest: resistance is built, and then the brain fog returns, and then the pain returns, and then the lethargy returns, and then… well, back to square one.
But I’ve chosen to write a success story for Dr. Semon’s program anyway.
I first saw Dr. Semon around early November of 2010. One week earlier, I was in the emergency room at one of the ten best hospitals in the United States. I complained of electrical impulses in my brain that I could only describe as seizures, chronic brain fog, an inability to read dense material, an inability to concentrate, spitting out blood in the morning, general lethargy, eye floaters, warts on both of my hands and under my right ear, dizziness, a white tongue, cravings for sugary foods, diarrhea, itching, chronic pain, mood swings, irritability, poor memory, and headaches, just to name a few symptoms. Yet even though they were associated with an excellent hospital, the doctors I saw told me the same thing that approximately sixteen doctors told me beforehand (this is not hyperbole; I lost count of the exact number of doctors I have seen). The issues were all in my head. Nothing was physically wrong with me. Perhaps I should sleep more.
Five years before that time, I was twenty-one years old, and life was far easier. At that time, I was fortunate enough to have scored at the 99th percentile on the Law School Admissions Test. Five of my undergraduate professors flattered me in advising that I become a professor myself and wrote glowing recommendations for my future endeavors. I had three majors and two minors, had achieved departmental honors in philosophy, and was accepted by a competitive employer called Teach For America. I was also offered nearly a full ride at a good law school. In short, I felt that my life was working out.
I don’t mention any of this to flatter myself or seek approval. To the contrary, I intend for this message to stay anonymous, and I want to state the facts for the benefit of you, the reader. In fact, none of the above achievements describe who I was a year later. Later on, I would have felt lucky to have scored at the 25th percentile on any standardized test. I could not understand my professors, let alone impress them. I spent most class time struggling to interpret even simple sentences and giving up entirely on complex lessons. Reading even one book a month proved too taxing. I did not attend many courses and even dropped some. I stayed home and essentially did nothing, or else I slept the time away. This was not a short-lived episode. This describes the lethargic person I have been for the past five years.
Still, I gradually found that certain behaviors mitigated my symptoms. I stopped drinking orange juice, slept more often, and relaxed. Later on, I discovered Miconazole and related topical creams. Then I used Threelac, Fivelac, apple cider vinegar, caprylic acid, all kinds of probiotics, diflucan, and more. All of these treatments worked for a bit. I would enjoy a few weeks with a clear head. Also, people would tell me I looked younger and healthier (at twenty-two, when I was unhealthy, people often told me I looked white as a ghost and thirty-five). My hair grew back and symptoms generally left me. Nevertheless, the treatments only gave me a few weeks worth of rest. Some treatments, including Threelac, Fivelac, and other probiotics even felt counterproductive. I took Threelac for three months straight and still felt terrible at the end. Between the doctor visits and treatments, I likely spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-7,000 (I have no way of knowing the exact number, but this is a very rough estimate).
As a result of my symptoms and the above treatments, I researched candida night and day for years. Even so, I refused to go on the infamous candida diet, reasoning that the diet is humanly impossible. Furthermore, the one time I had tried the diet, I felt that it ended in failure: it worked miraculously–and I mean miraculously–for a month. My tongue was pitch red, as though I had been flower on a red popsicle, and the only symptom I had was a permanent rash. But the next month was extremely difficult, and I had nothing to show for it. All the symptoms returned and remained.
So, as you can see, I was quite desperate the week before I saw Dr. Semon. As I sat in the emergency room, I remember that the “taste” of life had left my mouth. I felt–and I mean REALLY felt–like I was condemned to live a life that wasn’t mine. That existential feeling was what I needed: it was deep enough to move me to finally change my life.
A week later, I saw Dr. Semon, who explained the way he thought candida operated. He offered Nystatin powder and his program. At that time, I was finally strong enough to adhere to the candida diet. Once again, the first two weeks were absolute hell, the second set of weeks was absolute bliss, and the next couple months were absolutely mediocre (neither good nor bad).
But for the past three months, I have been doing, on average, extremely well. Three months is by far the longest success I have enjoyed on any program.
Bee’s Healing Naturally program (you can google it) is similar to Dr. Semon’s, and she recommends excellent vitamin supplements. She also has superb success stories and a dedicated following. Even so, I find some of her ideas to be, well, insane and flat out dangerous: she describes cancer as a “fungus,” states that the body “creates” diseases like HIV/AIDS (and, hence, that one cannot transmit HIV), and so on. I would recommend Bee’s diet and supplements, but the ideology behind her program is, again, plain crazy, in my opinion. I also think that one should take anti-fungals, though Bee says they are not necessary. Jeff McCombs, author of the McCombs plan, is, to my mind, better. He explains in detail what he believes to be the science behind candida and even bothers to cite scientific studies on the matter. His program also boasts success and a dedicated following. However, McCombs recommends that people eat fruit, and the sucrose/sugar in fruit did not sit well with me at all. Additionally, I found that the anti-fungal McCombs offers is not strong enough. Dr. Semon, I think, is the best of both worlds: he situates his program in mainstream science and porcupine McCombs’ pitfalls. Of course, his program is outlined on his website and he offers counseling in person.
Here is my progress after following a somewhat revised Dr. Semon plan for eight months:
1: I do experience brain fog, but the fog is far less than it used to be and comes less frequently. I was just above the middle of my class in law school before this past semester, even though I worked far harder than my peers. So far this semester, however, I have received straight A’s, including awards for receiving the highest grade in the course (Some context: Law school courses are very large, 40-80 students, generally. Also, the top 10% of our law school class actually average at an A-, whereas I am averaging an A. Thus, I am or am close to being number one in the class for this semester. I also put forth far less effort this past semester than in semesters past). Also, for the first time, I impressed a law professor. The professor has sent me a series of emails requesting that I consider becoming a professor myself. Here’s a snippet: “You are the most talented student I have ever taught. I have had about a dozen students with strong cathedral ability, and only a couple with outstanding writing ability, but no student with your combination of both at the highest level.” Although my grades (overall) are by now too low to allow me to consider becoming a law professor, this email reaffirmed my commitment to Dr. Semon’s program. The law professors I had before this past semester routinely pass me in the hallway and dismiss me as, well, really, really dumb. My professors from this past semester see an entirely different person.
2: All of my warts aside from one have disappeared. I had cut the warts off repeatedly before following Dr. Semon’s program, but the warts simply grew back and even increased in number. However, after following Dr. Semon’s program, the warts fell off without me having to do anything at all.
3: I am now a twenty-six year-old male who looks twenty-six. I have started caring about my appearance again (before, I thought my appearance was too trivial to think about in light of my other problems).
4: The white coating on my tongue lessens and returns, depending on the week and how I am feeling.
5: I no longer have seizure-like symptoms.
6: I no longer experience itching, pain, or headaches.
7: I have A LOT more energy and need to sleep far less to maintain it.
8: My memory is, on most days, exactly the way it used to be.
9: I no longer need to concentrate to understand simple sentences and am in fact reading long books on philosophy again.
10: I no longer crave carbohydrates and in fact am perfectly content with this alternative diet, even though people think I’m bizarre.
Again, I am not perfect, but I am far, far better than I was. Also, I have been better for three months now, and I feel better as each new week passes.
This is what I did:
1: I took the Nystatin powder as directed by Dr. Semon.
2: Contrary to what Dr. Semon advises, I did and do NOT eat complex carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice). This took a lot of discipline. It is likely very wise to start off by eating only complex carbohydrates. However, personally I do not eat complex carbohydrates; my symptoms return after I eat them.
3: I played A LOT of computer games to distract myself from what was an initially horrible and trying diet. Find something–preferably something that does not make you feel like you are a ten years old nerd–that keeps your mind off reality. I cannot emphasize the importance of this step enough.
4: I cheated very, very little.
5: I took vitamin supplements for a few months at the beginning, but note that many supplements contain no-no ingredients. Check labels.
6: I ate the following:
* Chicken (sausage and breasts)
* Turkey (sausage and breasts)
* Beef (all kinds)
* Onions (in moderation; these are sugary)
* Peppers (in moderation; these are somewhat sugary)
* Coconut oil (this has anti-fungal properties)
* Broccoli (a lot of it)
* Garlic (a lot of it; VERY strong anti-fungal properties)
* Vitamin supplements (A, B, C, D, E, Niacin, fish oil)
I ate the above foods just about all the time, rarely introducing new foods. I cooked at home nearly every meal. This was tough because I did not know how to cook until this year. In fact, I set the fire alarm off at least fifteen times. My roommate Dave stopped caring the eighth time, and now he just sighs loudly when I start a fire. I’m glad he’s so understanding. If I can cook all the time, you can too. Hopefully without Death cooking next to you.
For those of you who are absolute idiots, like me, I developed a routine: I went to Whole Foods every week and bought peppers, onions, broccoli, garlic (already peeled), asparagus, and meats. I put a random set of such food into a pan. I put the pan on the stove. I turned the stove on. Fire came out of the stove. The fire made the food eatable. Usually, the stove went off before the fire alarm did. Sorry if I just insulted your intelligence, but when I was doing particularly poorly I would have killed to have received the above, brain fog-friendly instructions.
7: The two treatments that afforded me the longest peace were garlic (A LOT of it! Both raw garlic and in tablet form worked) and hydrogen peroxide (which I used as a topical ointment).
8: Last bit of advice, and perhaps the most important of the set:
Do not give up. I have been on this diet for eight months and only now do I feel confident enough to speak on behalf of the diet and Nystatin powder. For most of the past eight months, I felt lousy. I was experiencing the same symptoms in exchange for far more effort. What kept me going was (a) that weird, existential feeling I had in the emergency room, (b) the realization that no other programs worked, and (c) the fact that my symptoms were, in fact, gradually disappearing.
While you are on this diet, you MUST keep reminding yourself of your symptoms that have either lessened in severity or vanished. For me, this was easy: warts had fallen off my hands. There. Proof that SOMETHING good is happening. Even if your symptoms do not change for two months, keep reminding yourself that something good happened in the past.
You ARE healing, but healing takes time, just as the damage to your body took time–particularly for those of you who have had symptoms for decades.
I feel awful after reading forum posts from people who give up on month three even though they describe concrete evidence showing that the diet in fact helped them. If you have not experienced any change in symptoms after the first month (including any transient changes like your tongue turned pitch red for a week or brain fog left you), then you probably do not have candida. But again, if you have experienced even a few minor changes, like warts falling off your hands, please stay on the diet. You can do it.
I apologize for this story, which has turned into book, but I wanted to tell my story right and in detail to best help you. If anything big changes in my life (if I think I am cured or if I return to previous symptoms), I plan to update this success story or request that it be removed. I absolutely do not want to mislead anyone on what is obviously a terrible, yet poorly understood illness. There is too much false information about this illness as is, and I would hate to add to it.
Reader: Please, get better. I wish I could help you more. Use Dr. Semon and any other support you can find. Your fight will be difficult, but you can do it. Good luck.
Thank you, Dr. Semon.