Candida Albicans brings a
mind-boggling list of of health problems in its wake.
Candida, a form of yeast cell, (more
than 150 different strains have been isolated)is naturally present
in our bodies at all times, and therefore its mere presence cannot identify it
as an enemy: if you fall sick, there are few tests your Doctor can do which will
definitely fix it as the cause.
If you have taken antibiotics frequently or for
lengthy periods of time, have suffered from fungal infections of the nails,
digestive tract or genitals, feel sick all over with no explanation, are
bothered by memory problems, have taken birth control pills for more than 2
years, are really bothered by exposure to cigarette smoke or chemicals,
feel worse on damp, muggy days, - consider Candidaas the cause.
An imbalance, a state of dysbiosis
caused by yeast overgrowth, brings about a disturbance in the natural order
where the friendly organisms in our gut designed to control the level of Candida
organisms in our body fail in their task.
This disturbance can be caused by
poor liver function
birth control pills*
or a combination of any of
* (Estrogen/ progesterone
imbalances increase Candida's tendency to attach to the cells lining the
vagina, and therefore both pregnancy and oral contraceptives can
increase one's risk. Oral contraceptives containing 75-150
micrograms of estrogen are most likely to cause the problem; low-dose
products are seldom implicated.)
Antibiotics,may be the worst villains,
since they cannot tell the difference between the friendly bacteria our internal
balance requires, and the bad ones they have been taken to fight: they kill them
all. The situation is aggravated by high carbohydrate diets, which feed the
yeast organisms, allowing a population explosion.. When overgrowth occurs,
several things happen:
Firstly, C. Albicans is a highly
allergenic bacterium. Clinical studies have shown that its presence in the
intestinal tract can lead to "leaky gut" syndrome, where food
antigens and toxins can be absorbed directly into the blood stream, leading
to that "sick all over" feeling. This happens because over time,
Candida can behave like a fungus, developing rhizoids that can grow into the
wall of the intestine, and contribute to its gradual weakening and
permeability: it is possible that this highly toxic state of affairs can
contribute to conditions as diverse as asthma and CFS through its
effect on the immune system..
Secondly, the toxins produced (among them
ethanol, acetaldehyde - which can damage organs, cause emotional
disturbances, memory loss and mood swings, and formaldehyde) may
act as immunosuppressants to prevent your defenses from doing their
job. This may mean not only that you are rendered susceptible to
re-infection by Candida itself, but also that auto-antibodies may
form, and hormonal dysfunctions may follow (Witkin,
Ph.D. Cornell Univ. Med. Coll 1985) together with a
medley of seemingly unrelated health problems.
Thirdly, the Candida may become systemic in
nature. Having breached the intestinal lining, it now has access
to the bloodstream and from there any part of your body, where it can set up
its home and multiply. Some of the symptoms of systemic Candida are
digestive problems, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, skin eruptions and
rashes, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Fortunately, there is now an inexpensive stool
laboratory test (see bottom of page) which will determine the balance
between yeast roganaisms and good bacteria, and can also determine parasite
The following are some serious
illnesses which have sometimes responded favorably to treatment for Candida:
they include MS, lupus, myasthenia gravis, multiple chemical
sensitivity syndrome, Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, interstitial
cystitis and cystitis, and endometriosis.
I hasten to add that I am not suggesting that they are cured by
this means, but that some of the symptoms lessen in intensity.
Nor is it my intention to suggest that the
serious diseases mentioned above such as MS, lupus, CFS, etc., are caused
by Candida. What I see happening here, (and much of my information comes not
only from my own clients, but also from Dr. Crook's wonderful books, The
Yeast Connection and The Yeast Connection and the Woman) is an accumulation
of insults to the body which result in illness.
Consider the changes that have occurred
in our life styles over the past 50 years - increased exposure to
chemicals and toxins, the almost casual intake of antibiotics and
synthetic hormones, the decrease in healthy nourishing food and the
increase in pesticides, preservatives, sugar, hydrogenated fats, food
colorings - the list goes on and on.
How can we not expect our bodies to pay a toll?
Lowered immune systems, alkaline/acid imbalance, and digestive disorders are
high on the list of first responses to these health stressors, and Candida feels
right at home in these conditions: once an imbalance starts, the body reacts in
many different negative ways.
What does this mean? When a scientist
reaches a destination, he needs to know the road he traveled by, and that it
leads only from there to here. It is difficult for a trained scientist to accept
that one road can lead to many destinations, or that one destination can be
reached by many roads. Dr. Truss in his book The Missing Diagnosis says:
" you may seem neurotic ... but do you experience ... depression,
anxiety, irrational irritability, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn,
indigestion, loss of self-confidence, inability to cope, lethargy, symptoms from
contact with food and chemical odors, acne, migraine, headaches ... urethritis,
cystitis, repeated vaginal yeast infections, premenstrual tension, and menstrual
problems? .. These may be symptoms of a treatable illness."
It can be hard for an allopathic Doctor to accept
not only that Candida can cause so many and such diverse health problems, but
that its cause and correction are also multi-faceted.
Treatment of Candidiasis is truly not simple, but
the first step is the proper diet avoiding sugars in all forms, even
limiting complex carbohydrates usually thought to be good for you, (see
bottom of page for a detailed list).
Candida is a yeast, and anything that
might feed it must be avoided; this means cutting out all sugars (even honey),
fruits, starches, vinegar and alcohol. No more maple syrup, corn syrup, white
bread, soft drinks, or cereals. They should be replaced with vegetables
and lean proteins. No more dried or fresh fruits, mushrooms, pizza or
pastries. As and when the condition improves, some of these things may be added
back in - but many people feel so much better without them, they want to keep
the improvement permanently!
An interesting exception to this rule
is Xylitol. Dr. Ward Dean states that this sweetener is
not metabolized by humans OR yeast: "Yeast gobble it up, thinking
they're getting sugar, and die". He considers it one of the best
anti-candida strategies! However, I must add a cautionary note, since
it appears that for some, Xylitol is a problem. Note that most
Xylitol available now is made from corn cobs, rather than the original
The next steps are detoxification, enhancement
of digestive and immune function, balanced nutritional supplementation and
herbal and medicinal anti-fungal agents . I usually recommend
the following protocol:
and detoxing. (See "other
articles" in Resources at right.)
the yeast with a selection of herbs
that have natural anti-fungal activity, such as Olive Leaf,
Garlic, Pau d'Arco, Grapefruit Seed Extract and Oregano.
The more diverse your weapons, the better your chance of success.
The wall of the
Candida yeast cell is composed largely of cellulose, and it is vulnerable
to digestion by Cellulase enzymes. It has no defense - it cannot
change the structure of its cell wall. These
enzymes should always be used between meals, otherwise they will be wasted
digesting the cellulose in your food. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO TAKE THEM
SEPARATE FROM FOOD . For more information about Candex, see Resources
is in effect a friendly yeast that fights Candida: it is much used in
France, where they refer to it as the yeast- fighting yeast.If your Candida is
connected to food allergies, this may be especially helpful for you; it
releases IgA which helps heal the lining of the gut. Saccharomyces is
helpful to prevent and relieve diarrhea, particularly when medication
the colon and repopulating it with friendly
bacteriasuch as Bifidus and Lactobacillus .
I recommend HSOs/ Primal Defense, continued use of probiotics, and cyclical
use of Candex.
Fifth - aiding
digestion: deficiencies of HCL or
pancreatic enzymes can mean that you are not absorbing your foods properly.
Improve your absorption, and there will be less to feed the yeast.
There is also a connection
with Gallbladder malfunction, since a healthy supply of bile helps
keep Candida Albicans in check. Generally, there is some reason to
suspect that Candida impairs the digestion of fats. This is why it may
be a good idea either to limit diary, or to add a
enzyme as well. If you have Candida, and have had your gallbladder
removed, and NOTHING seems to control the infection, consider adding a
source of ox bile.
Sixth - balance
while many Candida sufferers have very acid pHs, some people
suffering from recurrent Candida infections are found to have a highly
alkaline body chemistry: this is usually in conjunction with a low
metabolic rate, and can occur even if the diet is high in acid foods.
An acid pH in the body can also cause
excessive alkalinity in the colon, which encourages the growth of
yeast. In fact, one of the means by which acidophilus controls yeast
overgrowth is by acidifying the large intestine.
other words, disturbance of the pH balance IN EITHER DIRECTION,
whether acid or alkaline, can facilitate opportunistic Candida
However,Candida is absolutely
happiestwhen the acid environment of the body ( which is
what most of us in the US are - see my article in Resources
at right) means that the stomach is paradoxically LOW in acid, or HCL. and
the bowel is alkaline.
... Homeostasis is a
state of balance, when the entire body is in harmony and functioning perfectly.
Disturbance of this homeostasis leads to disease.
Each step should be
supported and enhanced by proper diet and
to support the
systemsuch as Moducare, Colostrum, OPCs, and
B Vitamins. Add also a multi-vitamin and mineral, since many Candida
sufferers compound their problem by not absorbing the nutrients they need
for basic good health.
Determine the cause of the Candida:
whether it be diet, allergy, stress, hormones, medications - unless you find
out what caused it and eliminate that cause, the problem WILL RETURN!!
Some people manifest their yeast problems not
only internally, but by overgrowths of thrush in the mouth, disfiguration of the
nails on hand or foot, and sometimes even malodorous rashes on the skin, under
the breasts and around the genitals being favorite sites . I have
come across a solution
of Silver which is proving to be very helpful for such problems, as a
gargle, or as a topical application.
I am amazed, too, at the frequency with which I
find that people with really intractable Candida also have parasites. I
would recommend testing for this (see
Test for Candida and parasites).
Dr. Morton Walker's book about Olive Leaf
Extract points out that hospital acquired infections from pathogenic fungi,
mainly Candida Albicans, increased from 6 to 11 percent between 1980 and
1990. Most anti-fungal drugs work by inhibiting the growth of fungi: this
means some fungal cells survive in the body, becoming resistant to the
drug treatment. Olive Leaf is a fungicidal substance which kills the
invading fungus rather than just slowing it down - this means that fewer of the
cells survive, and resistant mutations are also fewer. It also means less risk
of relapse after ceasing treatment with the Olive Leaf.
There is a mistaken belief that people
with Candida overgrowth need to adhere to a yeast free diet. In fact,
there does not appear to be any connection between the consumption of
food yeasts ( Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) and the overgrowth of Candida
yeast. Dr. Jack Sobel, who has a list a yard long of qualifications to
speak on the subject, says "There is no association between
Saccharomyces in the diet and systemic Candidiasis .... I never put
patients on yeast free diets, as they are painful,
non-nutritional, extremely difficult to comply with,and
ill-advised in my opinion". (my italics) (Interviewed by Dr.
Passwater, Whole Foods Magazine July 99 p. 60)
If the Candida still persists, consider an
elimination/ rotation diet to spot possible food allergies or intolerances,
which may play a large role in this scenario. The Coca
Pulse Test can be very helpful. The most common offenders are yeast,
(and if yeast is an allergen for you, then it should be avoided) milk,
wheat, corn, eggs and citrus.
Candidaovergrowth is definitely an
under-diagnosed problem in allopathic circles. Most nutritionally oriented
Doctors who are addressing this imbalance have concluded that the way to
diagnose Candida, is to treat the symptoms, and determine from the results
whether or not the diagnosis was correct. This might seem an irrational
approach, were we talking about strong drugs that could be harmful to the
patient, but Candida can be tackled. and often conquered, using measures
which actually contribute to overall health.
The advantage of the natural approach is that you
are not only much more likely to control the yeast permanently, but you will
also put your immune system back on track, able to help you resist other
problems that may come your way.
Soil Organisms) Attention to proper diet, limiting
carbohydrates, and eliminating allergens.
Controlled diet, occasional
use of Candex,
continued monitoring of internal bacteria with use of acidophilus and Primal
Breads, pastas, baked goods,
sauces soups and dressings thickened with flour, and/or sweetened with
sugar, candy, chewing gum, and sugar in all forms (fructose, sucrose, honey,
Dairy products such as milk
and ice cream. Unsweetened yogurt, without fruits, is acceptable, some
cheese and cottage cheese is OK.
Fruits and berries
Sweet vegetables such as
corn, yams, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, beets.
Many prepared foods.
Read the labels! Even canned hams and imitation seafood can be a
SUSPECT, BUT DO YOU KNOW?There is a simple
test that can be done to determine whether you have a Candida problem: we
have the kits here. The cost of the kit is $15.96 plus shipping, and you
then send a stool sample off to the lab. You are personally responsible
for the lab fee of $80.00. The results are sent directly to
the Health Care Provider you select. I have often found that those with
the most serious Candida problems also have parasites, and this Lab specializes
in testing for those, too.
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