Candida

 Candida overgrowth is a serious health issue that should not be ignored. It is not uncommon for people to have yeast overgrowth and not even know it. Candida overgrowth (or Candidiasis) can produce a wide range of symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, skin problems, allergies and insomnia. Candidiasis is a medical term used to describe a condition where a common digestive yeast overgrows to the point that it becomes a medical problem. There are many type of yeast that cause Candidiasis, the most common is called Candida Albicans. Traditional medicine recognizes this yeast as the cause of problems like: vaginal yeast infections and thrush in children. What is unrecognized is that this yeast can cause problems in the digestive tract of both men and women. If this overgrowth isn’t controlled in the gut, the yeast may become systemic. In other words, it can leave the digestive system, enter the blood stream and travel throughout the body. Candida can spread to the vagina, urinary tract, skin, finger and toenails, mouth, organs, and tissues. The rise in the number of people with Candida is partially due to the increase in the use of broad spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria in the digestive tract, leaving yeast (which antibiotics don’t kill) space to multiply. Poor diet, stress and nutrient deficiencies can also lead to Candida overgrowth. The toxins produced by Candida can overwhelm the immune system and lead to disease.

What Is Candida?

Candida is yeast, similar to those that cause bread to rise. Candida albicans is the most common and well known yeast, and can become problematic in the body when it proliferates out of control. Candida albicans is one of over 80 species of Candida. It is technically a digestive mold or yeast. These yeasts are parasites, organisms that live off of us, taking in food from us and putting off toxic waste. Digestive yeasts have been found to produce over 70 known toxins. Yeast is normally present in our intestinal tract in small amounts. In low levels, it is not harmful to the body – It is a source of food for beneficial gut flora (friendly bacteria) that help the body fight infectious disease. As long as the amount of yeast in the body remains small, internal balance is maintained and all is well. The ideal ratio of Candida to bacteria in the body is 1:1 million; that is, 1 yeast to 1 million bacteria.

What Causes Candida?

When the critical balance of Candida to bacteria in the body is disturbed, with Candida gaining the upper hand, we can develop symptoms anywhere in the body as a result of systematic candidiasis. This condition develops when the balance between yeast and bacteria is upset as a result of:

Upset in ratio of good to bad bacteria in the GI tract

Change in pH

Immune dysfunction or disease – a number of factors can cause immune dysfunction:

Drugs, anti-inflammatories, cortisone, birth control pills, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Oral antibiotics are a common cause of increased yeast production. While fighting harmful bacteria, they also kill off much of the friendly bacteria in the system as well. When the medication destroys bacteria, the yeast is left with more room to spread and a food supply which it grows on. This is a significant point because as the Candida yeast may manifest itself in various conditions, antibiotics are often used for symptomatic relief of those conditions. The antibiotics then allow the Candida to reproduce elsewhere, causing recurring infections and other maladies.

Toxic metals (like mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and aluminum)

Stress, emotional strain, long-term suppressed emotions, or lack of self esteem and confidence (which causes poor fluid movement)

Excessive physical work, including sports

Overwork, especially without adequate rest or diet

Pregnancy and menopause create an environment in which estrogen levels vary greatly from the norm, and this may cause a higher rate of infections.

Mentrual flow leaves women more susceptible at the end of each month’s cycle

Low thyroid function

Exposure to toxic substances and environmental toxins

Over-consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar

Poor digestion

Parasites

All of these factors create an imbalance of beneficial gut flora (more bad bacteria than good) called dysbiosis, which can result in reduced immunity. In its fungal form, Candida produces waste products known as mycotoxins. Among the mycotoxins produced by Candida is acetaldehyde, a poison that is transformed into ethanol and converted in the liver into alcohol. As alcohol builds up in the system, symptoms associated with drunkenness develop. This is how Candida can produce ‘brain fog’. Candida secretes acid that can alter pH (acid/alkaline balance). It also grows very long roots called rhizoids, which actually puncture the mucosal lining of the intestine. When it becomes damaged, we develop a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. This means that the mucosal lining of the digestive tract has holes in it, allowing Candida to pass through it into the bloodstream.

What Are Some Signs and Symptoms?

When undigested food particles penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, the body views them as foreign invaders and makes antibodies (chemical bullets) against them. This can result in the development of food allergies or sensitivities, and ultimately autoimmune disease. There are some 80 known autoimmune diseases. Among them are:

Arthritis (Rheumatoid)

Fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Crohn’s disease / Colitis

Diabetes

Lupus

Multiple sclerosis

Skin disorders

The cause for all of them is officially “unknown” to mainstream medicine, but holistic practitioners are well aware of their connection to leaky gut syndrome. Since Candida is often the culprit behind the leak, we can view systematic candidiasis as an underlying condition, it not a cause, of allergies and other autoimmune disorders. Candida toxins are carried through the leaky gut (via the bloodstream) to the liver. From there, they proceed to the other organs of the body – the brain, nervous system, joints, shin, etc. If the liver’s detoxification ability is impaired due to inadequate nutrition and toxic overload, these toxins will be stored and can initiate stages of the process, when the body still has enough vital reserve to maintain balance.

Symptoms

Since Candida can cause multiple systemic illnesses, a whole gamut of symptoms, ranging from the general to those affecting specific ares, are possible. These include low energy and fatigue, irritability, anxiety, fear, depression, “brain fog”, memory loss, headaches, lightheadedness, muscle and joint pain, poor circulation, resulting in cold hands and feet, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, white coating on the tongue or esphagus, heart palpitations and irregular pulse.

Persistent bloating and gas

Periodic constipation and diarrhea

Indigestion

Intestinal cramps

Joint and muscle pain

Recurrent vaginal yeast infections

Chronic postnasal drip

Coughs

Sore Throats

Colds

Asthma

Eczema

Itchy skin

Rashes on the skin

Acne

Fungal infections on the skin

Food sensitivities and allergies

Recurrent bladder infections

Fatigue

Sugar cravings

Brain Fog

Bad breath

Blurred vision

Chemical Sensitivity

Depression

Sinus problems

Insomnia

There is much evidence that sinusitis is fungus related; yet medicine continues to treat the condition with antibiotics, which makes matters worse by destroying good bacteria, allowing Candida to multiply. As mycotoxins (fungal toxins) become more abundant in the body, more serious and chronic conditions can develop. Toxins tend to settle in the organ (s) and Tissue (s) of greatest weakness. Since we all have different areas of genetic or acquired weakness, we will each manifest different disorders. In addition to suppressing the immune system, Candida also disrupts the endocrine (glandular) system, which has a regulating effect on the body. These effects, coupled with the ability of the fungus to migrate to any area of the body, make it possible for Candida to cause or contribute to virtually any disorder anywhere in the body.

If your tongue is coated with a white layer or you have cracks on the bottom of your feet – these are good indications that you have Candida overgrowth.

How To Get Rid of Candida

Just as mold and fungus need a warm, moist environment externally, bacteria and fungus need a certain environment to thrive internally. Therefore, if we change our inner environment and make it less fungus-friendly, these problems tend to disappear.

Eliminate or minimize the use of antibiotics, steroids, immune-suppressing drugs and oral contraceptives (only after consulting your health care provider or doctor).

Change your diet to one that will not encourage growth of Candida. Eliminate sugar and other sweeteners (natural or not), fruit and fruit juices, cheese and commercial dairy products. Soy sauce, mushrooms, breads with yeast, baked goods and peanuts should also be eliminated, as should any refined foods and any foods to which you are allergic or sensitive. Avoid coffee, soda, and alcoholic beverages, as well as any fermented foods or beverages. Caffeine wipes out the good bacteria in your digestive tract and in turn allows fungal overgrowth to get a good start.

Eat plenty of vegetables and lean protein. Soups and stews are excellent. Substitute yeast-free millet bread and gluten-free grains such as corn, millet, quinoa and teff. If a sweetener is desires, use the herbs stevia or lo-han. Snacks should include raw pumpkin seeds and oil-free corn chips. Use raw almond and raw cashew butter.

Drink plenty of water: at least ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight. (For a 120-pound person, that would mean 60 ounces.)

Enhance digestion by eating more raw foods, chewing thoroughly and taking enzymes with every meal.

Re-establish beneficial flora (good bacteria) in your intestinal tract with acidophilus and bifidus supplements. These are also found in a good yogurt but sugar or sweeteners can also be in yogurt so while cleaning up Candida it’s best to use supplement forms of these beneficial bacteria or plain yogurt.

Improve immune function by stimulating lymph flow through dry brushing, exercise, and deep breathing.

Get fresh air. Lack of cellular oxygen due to mucus in the system makes for a fungus-friendly environment. Fungus doesn’t like fresh air- it like a stale environment and carbon dioxide to bathe in. Fungus thrives in a body that is not exposed regularly to fresh air.

Increase fiber consumption. This will help absorb and sweep out the toxins that are being created as Candida dies off. We need 30-40 grams of fiber per day. Flax is an excellent source of fiber.

Cleanse your system with herbs that help reduce Candida.

Stay on a probiotic and fiber supplement as a maintenance. Continue on a maintenance diet – i.e., add back fruits and grains slowly to your diet.

Try colon hydrotherapy with your detox program.

Take supplements

To improve overall health, multivitamin and mineral supplementation is highly recommended. This will increase immune function and deter continued yeast-related infections. The following specific supplements may also be effective:

Essential Fatty Acids – the recommended dosage is 3000 mg evening primrose, borage, or black current seed oil daily, in three even doses, or one tablespoon of organic flaxseed oil. (Flaxseed oil should never be cooked and should be kept in the refrigerator.)

Vitamin C – The recommended dosage is 3000- 15,000 mg daily, in three even portions, to fight infections. The intravenous administration of 50 g vitamin C one to three times a week could speed up recovery.

B Complex- Used to alleviate stress, the recommended dosage is 50 – 100 mg with each meal.

Chlorophyll – This can help by cleaning the intestines. Six 8-ounce glasses of vegetable juice are recommended.

Lactoferrin – A dosage of 300 – 600 mg daily of this subfraction of whey protein combats yeasts and certain intestinal parasites, such as C. albicans.

Herbs

Herbs can also be instrumental in inhibiting yeast, particularly in the digestion system. There are several that can prove helpful:

Garlic – One of the star herbal performers, garlic is exceptional for warding off infections. It can be ingested raw, lightly cooked, or in capsule form.

Black walnut tincture- This can be added to water; the recommended dosage is 30 drops three times daily.

Shark liver oil – Five capsules of shark liver oil with 200 mg of alkyl glycerol; help the body fight candidiasis by promoting healthy blood cell production. Shark liver oil is not recommended for people with too many blood platelets (thrombocytosis).

Oregon Grape and German Chamomile – These herbs, when made into teas, are beneficial to the immune system. Aloe vera, rosemary, ginger, alfalfa, red clover, goldenseal, barberry, and fennel produce similar effects.

Goldenseal – Outside of the tea form, it could be taken as an oral supplement. A dosage of 4 capsules three times a day provides help against yeast overgrowth.

Digestive harmony- This is an Oriental- bitter herb combination that works as an anti-yeast agent systemically.

Herbastatin – This gets rid of yeast caused by mucus.

Yudaiwan – A Chinese treatment, yudiawin helps to eliminate vaginal discharge. Ku Shen- This Oriental herb is used in a wash to cleanse the vagina.

Oregano Oil- Taking one capsule on an empty stomach three times a day has antifungal effects.

Recommended Book

It is highly recommended that you read, “The Candida Directory & Cookbook” by Helen Gustafson & Maureen O’Shea. This book gives a checklist for you to decide if you have Candida and also a symptom chart to follow your progress. There are many good books available for you to pick up or borrow from the library. The only thing I would caution you about while you learn more about Candida is that eating dairy, the white stuff (white rice, white four, sugar), and any sweetener (natural or not) is not a good idea. The whole point to getting healthy is to clean the center of your immune system – the digestive system. These foods will cause problems in the digestive system see The White Stuff and Healthy Alternatives.

Yeast thrives in sweeteners, so that is why natural sweeteners are not recommended while cleaning up Candida – unnatural sweeteners are never recommended.

Things To Know

Diet either inhibits or accelerates yeast-related problems. Three dietary anti-yeast strategies are: excluding sugar, eliminating fermented or yeast – and mold containing products and eating only natural, health-giving foods.

Supplements can either specifically target yeast-induced illnesses or help sustain balanced overall nutrition. The following are recommended: appropriate flora, antifungal and anti-yeast agents, multivitamin/ mineral supplements and chlorophyll.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Candida”
  1. John Brown says:

    It should now give some of those who have the beleive that in places like this, health issues are no handdled with herbs at all. However I think herbs give the best solution to health problems.

  2. breyana says:

    I am not very clear on this particular issue. This is because other says one need to consult a doctor before taking supplements. one on the other hand says she didnot consult a doctor before taking it and it was quite successful. So which of the two methods is advisible for high blood patience?

  3. Breyana,

    You should always consult a doctor before trying supplements, especially if you’re on medication or have any other condition to start with. Doctor’s or health practitioner’s will help evaluate you before your treatment even if you’re reasonably healthy to start with. They will also evaluate you during and after supplemental treatment. There are many concerns to take into consideration and seeing a qualified health practitioner will help assure you’re on the right path and (the goal) no adverse reactions will take place. Just because something is ‘natural’ does not mean it is safe. They will also know if any medication will interact with the supplements you are taking. It is always recommeded you contact a health care professional before you start any treatment: natural or otherwise.

    Alexa

  4. Dion says:

    Wow, some absolutley great information here. Thanks for the blog!

  5. diana says:

    hi,
    recently i noticed that i have some bump like things spreading on the side on my mouth (lips). they seem to be under the skin of my lips. it is really getting me worried and very depressed. is that one of the signs of a yeast infection on my lips or probably the one mentioned above?
    i really need an answer and how can i treated naturally?

  6. Diana,

    It’s really hard to say without more information. The best answer I can give is: It’s possible it’s Candida. It could also be a lack of a vitamin or mineral. It sounds like it could also be something called Fordyce Spots, a condition that is basically small sebaceous oil glands that have become blocked and cause spots (pretty common and usually confused with STD’s on first examination). You could try to open the pores in your lips with a hot towel when washing your face. It’s just hard to say via blog. It would be a good idea to see a dermatologist or a health practitioner for an accurate evaluation and diagnoses.
    As for it being Candida, you would more than likely have more symptoms to go on. That being said, Candida is often involved with depression, but depression may be from many things as well. If you’re down because the white spots are bothering you – that’s one thing. If you’re depressed – that’s another. For depression, it is highly reommended for you to see a qualified health practitioner.

    Alexa

  7. Michelle says:

    Hello there,

    It wasn’t until I googled my symptoms that I realized this may be what my body has been going through. I have been under a lot of stress lately (buying a house, studying for an exam, my grandmother passing away) and I suppose my body reacted accordingly. On top of the stress, I have been eating a lot of processed, high fat food and beer/alcohol. My exercise regime was also put on the back burner.
    I started off with my period being late and a sinus infection. By the time went to the doctor, I had gotten my period and was given some antibiotics to treat my sinus infection. Instead of feeling better, I started to feel progressively worse. Every joint in my body was hurting, I would wake up in the middle of the night with pins and needles. Ovulation this month, was brutal and not a day goes by that I don’t have a headache.
    I could go on and on. I’m sure that everyone around me is tired of hearing me complain and probably think that it’s all in my head.

    At this point, I don’t know what direction to take. Should I be going to a medical doctor or a naturopath?

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks,

    Michelle

  8. Nice post…. Candida albicans fungi mark their territories during this population boom by causing any of these sensations: burning, itching, soreness, or tingling. Yeast infections can cause serious, sometimes even fatal, diseases. This is particularly true for sufferers with weakened or underdevelope immune systems, diabetes, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

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