Candida albicans is a fungi, belonging to the yeast family. Yeast is commonly present on human skin, and normally lives on the mucous membranes of your gastro-intestinal tract, urinary system and genital areas. The ambient temperature, moisture and darkness of these areas, provides a suitable environment for yeast to grow and flourish.
Yeast plays an important role in the functioning of the digestive tract and lives there quite happily along with the other billions of friendly germs.
Unfortunately this yeast can change from a harmless, to a mycelia fungus, and now has the ability to produce over 75 known toxic substances, which compromise cells and tissues and over time, because of its ability to enter the bloodstream, not only weaken the immune system, but compromise the function of the liver, lungs, kidneys, brain and nervous systems as well.
Candida, when out of control, inflames the intestinal lining, and is capable of ‘boring’ microscopic holes in the intestinal wall, causing microscopic tears, through which particles of undigested proteins and toxic waste, can pass into the bloodstream, creating a condition known as ‘leaky gut’ or ‘leaky gut syndrome. This in turn creates food intolerances and other sensitivities, that are a constant drain on the body. It is at this point that Candida can become dangerous.
Why? …Because over activity of yeast cells (candidiasis) effects the body in a number of important and unhealthy ways.
- 1. Interferes with the digestive process and the ability to absorb food
- 2. Robs the body of essential nutrients
- 3. It can sexually transmit from one person to another.
It has the ability to rob the body of essential nutrients.
It can travel anywhere in the body through the bloodstream, and dump its toxic poison into any vulnerable cell or organ, causing a vast list of symptoms. For example if overgrowth is on the skin, hives, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, acne etc. may result.
If it dumps into the brain symptoms of fatigue, irritability, memory loss, depression may result.
Candida hinders the body’s ability to absorb iron. It can also be responsible for reproductive problems, thrush etc..
Candida can invade and damage soft tissues in infants, especially in the mouth.
What causes Candida?
There are many factors which contribute to a harmless yeast turning into a harmful fungal yeast.
It is not suggested that you stop taking any of the medication listed as causes, but simple to inform you and make you aware that they may in fact be a cause.
- 1. the use of long term antibiotics (over 1 month)
- 2. Steroids and cortisone based drugs
- 3. Immune suppressing drugs
- 4. The contraceptive pill
- 5. Recreational drugs... marijuana, tobacco and alcohol
- 6. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates
- 7. Parasites – which upset the normal gut flora
- 8. Disturbance in gastro-intestinal tract ecology. (not enough friendly gut bugs)
- 9. STRESS, STRESS, STRESS
The good news
Research and Clinical studies in the USA, Germany and Switzerland have shown that polysystemic candidiasis can be successfully treated with no further recurrence of symptoms in 60 – 120 days.
It’s very common for people to go on and off anti-candida programs for years and never really get it out of their system. The minute they stop the program back comes the candida.
There are a number of factors and common mistakes that contribute to an anti-candida regime not working, or the symptoms returning soon after the regime is stopped.
Research also shows that if candida is not totally eradicated, it will come back.
Primitive anti-candida regimes and the long term use of drugs such as Nystatin, Nizarol and Diflucan have proved by and large to be a total failure, and long term users have claimed they are worse off and their health has declined as a result.
Probiotic expert, researcher and friend Natasha Trenev states “Nystatin has proved to be a disaster in the treatment of candida – it is itself yeast based and research at the Washington University School of Medicine shows that ultimately after a period of treatment, when Nystatin is stopped, it often results in even more yeast colonies developing than were there before its use”
Through work done at Germany’s Institute of Micro-Ecology it has been found that Candida is linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and is rampant in AIDS sufferers.
Major Symptoms are:
- * Bloating
- * Burping and gas
- * Fatigue, lethargy
- * Inability to concentrate
- * Memory lapses
- * Allergy symptoms
- * Constipation / diarrhoea
- * Skin problems
- * Recurrent cystitis
- * Vaginitis
- * Thrush (male and female)
- * PMS
- * Endometriosis
- * Impotence
- * Cravings (for sweets, cheese, yeast based foods, alcohol)
- * Frequent colds and flus
- * Constant feeling of unwellness
- * Depression/ anxiety/ weepy
- * Weight gain
- * Mood swings
When for years you’ve done everything and tried every candida diet and medication there is, and you still haven’t gotten rid of it, it’s easy to become disillusioned and obsessed about it all.
You can get rid of it, but you need to get a basics right first.
- * STOP jumping into every program for candida control you hear about.
- * STOP mixing bits from different diets and programs together because you think it might help.
- * STOP every program you’re following NOW, clear your mind, take a deep breath and make up your mind to start again, with one program only.
- * NOW stick to that one diet and program for at least 3 months and then challenge.
This is perhaps the hardest part of the program. We work so hard to make a living that we often forget how to live. We want to enjoy life, we want to eat what we want good or bad, we want to be social and burn the candle at both ends, play hard and work hard. We often don’t get enough sleep, do enough exercise, fresh air, sunshine, we work in environmentally unfriendly offices, we use pesticides, herbicides, harsh chemicals and other environmental hazards to kill bugs both in our inside and outside environment, and we’re so busy just trying to do it all, that we’ve forgotten how, and have no time to relax and de stress.
Then we scratch our head and wonder, and simply can’t fathom out why we’re not feeling well, always felling sick, catch everything that’s going around.
All this has to stop. But not forever only for 3 months... and hopefully by then you’ll feel so great you won’t want to go back to your old ways.
Eat good wholesome foods. Every cell and organ in your body is living. How long do you think you can feed this living body with dead food, before it will let you know in no uncertain terms it's not happy?
Poor nutrition is just one of the factors that results in a weakened and compromised immune system, and when the immune system is weak it does not have the ability to fight germs/ fungi or bacteria that may invade your body.
Good digestion starts in the mouth, with the thorough chewing of food, this in turn stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid from the stomach, digestive enzymes for the pancreas and bile.
If ever one of these digestive factors is not secreted in the right quantities it can give rise to yeast overgrowth.
Supplementation with digestive enzymes could be beneficial.
Today more than ever before it’s easy to pick up parasites. We visit exotic places, and a few months later when symptoms appear we don’t realise we could have brought uninvited guests back in our gut.
But we don’t even have to leave home ground to be invaded by these unwelcomed visitors. The increase in migration from countries where hygiene leaves a lot to be desired, is an increasingly common contributing factor
Many migrants who have lived with parasites all their lives have become immune to them. Unfortunately that’s not the case with the rest of us, who don’t have the same immunity.
Slack infection control guidelines, poor hygiene practice, unsupervised and non trained people working in the food industry, people who have direct hand / mouth to food contact during the preparation of what we eat, is a major contributing factor to why parasite infections are becoming so very common in Australia today.
Emotions and stress plays an important role in the management of Candida. We often find that once these 2 factors are addressed the symptoms improve dramatically. Try to come to terms with what stresses you have and then compromise.
Finding someone who can teach you to meditate, learn relaxation techniques or yoga is excellent.
It has been well researched that the average person eating a Western diet, living a busy, stressful life, who suffers from bowel problems, makes frequent visits to the doctor and come away with scripts for antibiotics (anti= Against, Biotic = life) to cure everything that ails them, has very few good bacteria in their gut.
The percentage of good bacteria (friendly) to bad bacteria (unfriendly) should be 80% good 20% bad. For the majority however, it’s the other way round. So how can you expect to win the candida battle when there are no good healthy allies to help you fight the war.?
There are many brands on the market most make great claim, all are expensive, and few are great quality.
It may also be the advertising hype that induces people to buy inferior products. Be informed, probiotics (pro=for biotic=life) need to live in the fridge, are best in powder form, and as acidophilus is small bowel bacteria and bifidus large bowel bacteria, they are best when they each have their own bottles to live in.
That way if you know you have a large bowel problem bifidus is the probiotic of choice.
If you have a small bowel problem Acidophilus is the choice, and if you can take a teaspoon of both before breakfast in water, then your whole digestive system will benefit.
Supplements you might try
The following natural remedies have been found to be of great benefit in the fight to control and eliminate candida from your body
- * T tree pessaries and creams (thrush)
- * Garlic Use large amounts in cooking or swallow a whole peeled knob 2-3 times a day for a week. If you’re concerned about “garlic breath’ take a good natural garlic supplement like KAOLIC
- * Caprylic acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid) can be purchased in tablets or capsule form. * Excellent in treating yeast infections.
- * Probiotics Acidophilus and Bifidus Natren is recommended
- * Aloe Vera Juice 20mls twice a day - to heal gut mucosa
- * Vitamin C powder 1 tsp twice a day
- * Pau d’arco high in the compound lapachol and xyloidine important anti cancer and anti candida agents.
- * Ginger, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary contain very powerful anti candida substances
- * Vitamin A Vitamin B6 (yeast free)
- * Iron (liquid is best, as tablets may be constipating)
- * Zinc
- * Magnesium
- * Folic acid
When the immune system is compromised and weakened, candida can and does take over rapidly. A healthy, strong immune system is therefore essential in the prevention and recovery of candida overgrowth.
Anti Candida Diet
- * All alcohol, csour ordials soft drinks, beer fermented drinks
- * All sugars, lilies, chocolate, honey, jams, syrups
- * All breads, cakes, biscuits, dough ,all yeast based bakeries
- * All processed foods, tinned, bottled boxed
- * All cheeses, sour cream, buttermilk, yoghurt
- * All canned, bottled fruits, stone fruit, melons, dried fruits
- * All fermented grains and malt products
- * All processed, smoked, cured meats, salami, sausages, ham
- * Mushrooms
- * All commercial sauces - Vinegar, soy, tomato sauce, MSG Miso
- * Polyunsaturated & nut oils, old oils
- * All yeasts, vegemite, Bovril, marmite
- * Fresh vegetable juice, coffee, tea
- * Pita bread, rice cakes
- * Organic plain yoghurt
- * Banana, green apple limit 1 piece per week
- * All grain
- * Shellfish, smoked salmon
- * Sweet potato, corn, squash, peas
- * Lemon juice Homemade sauces
- * Cold pressed seed oil
- * Purified water, herbal teas
- * Eggs
- * Almonds
- * Fresh fish, lean chicken, lamb, veal
- * All other fresh vegetables and salads
- * Cold pressed virgin olive oil
Bananas are a great first challenge food.
Take a small bite of banana, in about 30 minutes take another bite, if you feel fine and experience no symptoms (and you’ll know if you do) eat the rest of the banana.
The next day eat another kind of fruit using the same method. If again you have no symptoms, then it should be safe to reintroduce both these fruits into your diet. GO SLOWLY, and cautiously...
If you pass the challenge test, start slowly introducing other foods back into your diet ONE AT A TIME and over 24 hours, using the same method. If you have symptoms STOP continue the candida diet and challenge again a week later starting with the banana.
Rotate your diet introducing a variety of food types, don’t eat the same thing every day, variety will allow you to identify foods that may be causing you problems, and of course eating the same thing day in day out will make your body more susceptible to again reject it due to overload.
By following these recommendations you should continue to improve. As time passes you will find you can ‘cheat’ occasionally without any problems.
However if you throw caution to the wind, and load your body with all those sweets and junk food, you may find yourself back where you began.
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