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Candida

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Candida

Many women know the discomfort associated with the common yeast infection. However, there are many other types of yeast that affect different parts of the body, in men as well as in women.

Many women know the discomfort associated with the common yeast infection. However, there are many other types of yeast that affect different parts of the body, in men as well as in women.

While Candida albicans is recognized as the cause of problems like vaginal yeast infections and thrush in children, what is often not realized is that this yeast originates in the digestive tract. If the overgrowth in the gut is not kept under control, the yeast may become systemic–entering the bloodstream, and travelling throughout the body, where it can spread to the vagina, urinary tract, skin, fingernails, toenails, mouth, organs, and tissues. From here, it can contribute to many health problems.

It is normal for small amounts of yeast to be present in our intestinal tract. The ideal ratio of candida to bacteria in the body is one yeast to one million bacteria. As long as the amount of yeast in the body remains small, internal balance is maintained and all is well.

What Causes Candida?

Most holistic experts agree that the alarming number of Canadians with candida is due to the over-prescribed use of antibiotics, which kills not only the bacteria we want to get rid of, but also the good bacteria in the digestive tract. Other drugs that can upset the balance include anti-inflammatories, cortisone, and birth control pills. Poor diet (too many refined carbs), stress, and nutrient deficiencies can also lead to an imbalance.

Yeasts are parasitic organisms that absorb our nutrients and produce toxic waste. These organisms have been found to produce over 70 known toxins. Over time, candida grows from a yeast form into a fungal form and starts creating waste products known as mycotoxins. Among the mycotoxins produced is acetaldehyde, a poison that is converted by the liver into alcohol. As alcohol builds up in the system, symptoms associated with alcohol intoxication develop. This is why one of the most common symptoms of candida is brain fog.
In its fungal form, candida also grows long roots called rhizoids that puncture the intestinal lining, leading to a condition called leaky gut syndrome. This creates holes in the digestive tract, allowing candida to pass through into the bloodstream.

When undigested food particles leak through these holes and enter the bloodstream, the body views them as foreign invaders. This can result in food allergies or sensitivities and, if left untreated, can lead to diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease or colitis, diabetes, lupus, as well as various skin disorders.

Symptoms

Candida toxins are carried through the leaky gut to the liver. From there, they can proceed to any other organ in the body. In the initial stages of the process, symptoms may be mild including:

  • persistent bloating / gas
  • joint and muscle pain
  • recurring vaginal yeast infections
  • food sensitivities / allergies
  • recurring bladder infections
  • fatigue
  • sugar cravings
  • brain fog
  • bad breath
  • blurred vision
  • chemical sensitivity
  • depression
  • sinus problems
  • insomnia

As mycotoxins become abundant in the body, more serious and chronic conditions can develop. Toxins tend to settle in the organs and tissues of greatest weakness. As everyone has different areas of genetic or acquired weakness, individual people manifest different disorders.

The Path to Elimination

  • Stop or minimize use of antibiotics, steroids, immune-suppressing drugs, and oral contraceptives (only after consulting your health care provider).
  • Cleanse your system with anti-fungal herbs. Look for an anti-candida kit containing a mix of anti-fungals in your local health food store.
  • Re-establish good bacteria with acidophilus and bifidus supplements.
  • Increase fibre consumption (flaxseeds are an excellent source of fibre.) This will help absorb and sweep out the candida toxins. Thirty to 40 grams of fibre per day is required, but most Canadians only get 10 to 12 grams.
  • Change your diet to one that will not encourage growth of candida. Eliminate all sugar and sweeteners including fruit and fruit juices, refined carbs and dairy products. Eliminate all fermented food including soy sauce, mushrooms, and peanuts. Eat plenty of vegetables and lean protein.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • To prevent further outbreaks, stay on probiotic and fibre supplements.

Getting candida under control is an important key to optimal health. By following these simple suggestions, you will see the positive results in just a few weeks.

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