There are about a dozen recognized causes of intestinal dysbiosis (or dys-function of the microbiome, or inner ecology) and candida overgrowth (CO). Causes range from obvious chemical and germ exposure to mind-body related causes.
Diet Poor food choices Is one of the main causes of candida overgrowth (CO) and intestinal dysbiosis. Candida and the other critters causing dysbiosis all feed on sugar. Your first and most obvious sign of trouble is when you begin craving sugars (fructose or fruit, honey, juice, soda, maple syrup, ice cream, especially any type of candy or chocolate, basically anything sweet, or refined carbs like any white flour pasta, cookies, cakes, etc). There is nothing wrong with a little sugar now and then. But when it is a daily craving it falls into an “extreme diet” category.
Extreme Diet is a classic question of “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Does extreme diet cause CO or does having CO cause the extreme diet? Whichever is the case, we know dysbiosis is involved.
RX Drugs All drugs, and especially antibiotics, can cause an upset in the inner bowel ecology and immune system which adversely affects the body simply because they are artificial, unnatural and man-made. They are foreign invaders to the natural human body. We are not against modern medicine. That would be foolish. RX drugs can save lives in an emergency. But they are not designed to cure, heal or be used for years at a time. They are made for the temporary relief of symptoms. Unfortunately some people stay on them for years, never bothering to find out how to heal their own body. Then they are surprised when “suddenly” the accumulated negative side-effects of the drugs simply overwhelms them with serious or life threatening disease.
The drugs which most directly upset the bowel ecology and contribute to CO dysbiosis are Antibiotics, Birth Control Pills, Hormones, Steroids, Anti-inflammatory drugs and Antacids. (1) However, You don’t need to go see a doctor to get antibiotics. They can enter the body through common dairy products. Dairy products, especially milk, are so laden with toxic bacteria that the FDA allows dozens of antibiotics to be used directly in milk
Alcohol Alcohol use in excess kills off friendly bacteria, increases toxic overload of the liver, and allow candida overgrowth dysbiosis. Add to this dilemma the fact that alcohol is actually a yeast by-product and you can see the potential problems. People with extreme CO can have high blood alcohol levels and literally be drunk, just from eating sugar. This moderate “high” is one explanation for intense sugar cravings. There is another interesting aspect to alcohol and yeast.
Every living thing that eats must create waste on the other end. Usually that waste is toxic (poisonous) to the organism. Not so with yeast. The alcoholic by–products it creates can actually serve as a fertilizer to help it grow further. This explains why various researchers have indicated that everyone who drinks alcohol regularly (daily or a few times weekly) is likely harboring Candida Overgrowth. (2) (3)
The conditions above are most likely to cause candida albicans yeast infection and dysbiosis. The conditions below also contribute but usually must be extreme. That is, done more frequently, sustained over time, or magnified by each other.
Hormone imbalances That show up as obvious symptoms (PMS, etc.) can upset the balance of friendly flora in the gut. This explains why women are more prone to yeast problems giving their monthly cycle, pregnancies, menopause, birth control pills, etc. however, with proper bowel balance and a strengthened immune system, these variations should not cause problems.
Tap Water Water containing chlorine kills both bad and good bacteria in the gut. It is better to drink filtered or spring water. Better to drink distilled water with something else mixed with it rather than plain. Better to have room temperature water rather than cold (cold and ice puts out the “gastric fire” which is necessary for proper digestion).
Bowel Problems Digestive troubles like constipation, diarrhea, parasites, worms, IBS, leaky gut, heartburn, gas, bloating - all signs of dysbiosis - are not only the signs and symptoms or yeast infection, but can be originating causes as well. The “chicken or the egg” story once again. Either way, where there is smoke, there is fire. (4)
Excessive stress Stress can most certainly affect the immune system and bowel causing CO. The link between mind-body is well established. Emotional nervousness or mental stress can cause chronic fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, high blood pressure, ulcers and numerous related health problems. That is why our treatment program uses a 'Healthy Trinity' which addresses mind-body issues to reduce stress.
Environmental Molds or Chemicals Chemicals and mold can deplete the immune system and liver reserves, causing bowel dysbiosis. This is a problem for people who work around chemicals frequently, for example, hair stylists, dry cleaners, lawn maintenance, house painters, fuel or chemical industry, etc. Basically, if you can smell anything, it means that your liver and immune system has to work to get rid of it. The stronger and longer the exposure, the more likely a yeast infection or dysbiosis problem.
Toxic Metals and Food Chemicals Toxic metals have the same explanation as the above category except they are even more severe. Mercury (as found in dental amalgams, some fish), other metals and food chemicals, such as aspartame, MSG and other can kill friendly intestinal flora, alter immune response, and allow yeast to proliferate. Mercury and metals can be a paradox. There is no question that they are toxic. However, clinical experience clearly shows that, like any of these possible causes of CO, toxic metals will affect people differently. For some people a much more dental work don’t have any problem at all. I have seen people who were convinced their problems were dental related, spend thousands of dollars to get them removed, only to find the same problems or worse. The best way to determine if this is a problem for you is why we Test instead of Guess.
Immune deficiency From conditions that weaken the immune system such as AIDS, cancer, herpes, hepatitis, et. It is a little-known fact that almost everyone with serious illness is suffering from candida albicans or yeast infection.
(1) Preventing invasive candida infections. Where could we do better?
J Hosp Infect. 2014 Dec 16. pii: S0195-6701(14)00371-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2014.11.006.
Invasive candidiasis is associated with high mortality rates, ranging from 35% to 60%, in the range reported for septic shock. ...in critically ill patients up to 80% of these patients are colonized. The differentiation of colonization and proven infection ... requires seven to 10 days. candidiasis currently relies on the positive predictive value of risk assessment strategies, such as the colonization index, candida score, and predictive rules based on combinations of risk factors such as candida colonization and use of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
(2). Impairment of the intestinal barrier by ethanol involves enteric microflora and mast cell activation in rodents Ferrier L, Berard F, Debrauwer L, Chabo C, Langella P, Bueno L, Fioramonti J (2006). Am J Pathol 168:1148–1154
(3). Tamai H, Kato S, Horie Y, Ohki E, Yokoyama H, Ishii H (2000) Effect of acute ethanol administration on the intestinal absorption of endotoxin in rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 24:390–394 -----------------------
(4) Digestive tract mycobiota: A source of infection.
Med Mal Infect. 2015 January - February;45(1-2):9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Feb 13.
The human mycobiome includes 390 fungal species detected on the skin, in the vagina, in the oral cavity, and in the digestive tract that includes 335 species and 158 genera. Among these, 221 species are found only in the digestive tract, 88 only in the oral cavity, and 26 in both... Genotyping proved that the gut mycobiome was a source of fungal infection caused by Candida albicans and Candida glabrata.