Candida - The Yeast That Acts Like a Beast
Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN & Amy Coates, RHN, BSc.
Do you suffer from insatiable sugar cravings? Are you a "carb-aholic"? Do you experience digestive difficulties, gas, or have elevated cholesterol?
You might be asking..."What on earth do these issues have in common?"
Well, the answer may well be that your body is being held hostage by an overgrowth of a nasty little yeast called Candida!
What is Candida?
Candida Albicans is a single-celled fungus (a yeast to be more exact). When candida grows out of control it becomes a condition known as candidiasis.
In a healthy individual, it lives in the digestive tract and is kept in balance among other bacteria and fungi. These “normal flora” that live in the large intestine help in the digestion of food, produce enzymes and vitamins, and prevent infections and disease.
Since the 1980s, the problems caused by candida has grown in number and intensity. However, the medical establishment does not want to acknowledge candidiasis perhaps because it arises as a side effect from the use of commonly prescribed drugs - antibiotics, birth control pills, and corticosteroids.
Many of the factors common to patients with candidiasis include:
frequent long-term use of antibiotics
birth control pills use in women
regular use of cortisone-type drugs
sensitivity (and exposure) to molds or dampness
cravings for sweets, breads, or alcohol
recurrent skin fungus infections, such as ringworm, athlete's foot, jock itch, or nail problems
The Problem Begins When...
Candida begins to overgrow in the intestinal or genitourinary tract. When the normal body microflora are killed off by antibiotics, the yeasts may then proliferate and co-exist in our body.
As the candida continue to populate the colon they begin to wreak havoc. With time, the yeast convert into their fungal form, wherein it develops rhizoids, or roots, than can be implanted in the intestinal wall and other mucosal linings.
This can create a more porous intestinal tract, known as Leaky Gut Syndrome, allowing the absorption of toxins from fermentation and other antigenic material generated by the fungus.
And as with foreign substances that make their way into the bloodstream, the body mounts an immune response, creating antibodies to the candida albicans organisms. This can then lead to immunological or hypersensitivity reactions and manifest as an "unknown" systemic disease.
Systemic Candidiasis Can Lead to...
Symptoms and conditions that include skin fungus infections or nail problems, headaches, fatigue, cystitis or prostatis, mood swings, confusion, harsher premenstrual symptoms, cravings for sweets, indigestion, and many many more!
Candidiasis is much more common in women than in men and seems to affect the body's hormonal balance causing more pronounced premenstrual symptoms and painful periods. In women, candida overgrowth commonly manifests as a "yeast infection" in the vagina whereas men will often experience uncomfortable jock or rectal itching.
How to Defeat Candida
Defeating candida is tough. It requires strict adherence to a very restrictive diet for several months. For most people it's simply not a reality. However, by there are more moderate approaches that can be very effective. For one, following a candida cleanse is very helpful in ridding your body of excess yeast and helps you reduce your intake of sweet foods that feed them.
However, there is a 3-faceted approach to treating and beating candidiasis which consists of:
not feeding the yeasts food upon which they thrive
reducing the yeast growth through natural agents
re-establishing the normal floral balance in your intestines
If you think you have a candida problem (and most people do) then you need to follow a proper plan that will help you rid your body of these nasty yeasts.
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