Although wide spread, Candidiasis (yeast over growth) is generally overlooked by the conventional medical establishment because its symptoms so closely mimic those of other conditions. Natural Healers (real doctors) however, recognise the seriousness of Candidiasis and, while conventional medicine has often failed in treating this, so much so, that many allopaths unable to properly identify Candidiasis will tell the patient that their symptoms are all in their head, in other words psychological, and prescribe anti-depressants instead. On the other hand, various natural methods offer safe and effective relief.
Candida affects the health of 1 in 3 people. Candidiasis is basically a disease resulting from conventional medical developments like birth control pills, antibiotics, and estrogen replacement therapy. And it can be triggered at a very young age, when children are first being treated with antibiotics.
It is important to note that everyone has Cadidiasis - a form of yeast (Candida Albicans) normally confined to the lower bowels, the vagina, and the skin.
Individuals with healthy normal strong functioning immune systems don't suffer from its negative effects. It is kept in check by "good" bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Acidophilus. But if the balance of the intestinal environment becomes altered by a compromised immune system or other factors, then opportunistic Candida proliferates, infecting other body tissues. The Candida becomes pathogenic, transforming from a simple yeast into an aggressive fungus that can compromise one's health.
The fungal form of Candida appears to permeate at the gastrointestinal mucosal lining and break down barriers to the bloodstream. When the fungal form of Candida occurs in the body, allergenic substances can penetrate into the blood more easily, where they form immense complexes and perhaps even promote food allergy reactions. Since their symptoms are often are often interrelated, Candida should usually be treated together with food allergies.
Candidiasis can effect areas of the body far removed from Candida colonizations in the gastrointestinal tract and vagina. One reason for this is that Candida produces a number of toxins that can suppress immune function, deplete the body of white blood cells needed to fight infection, and prevent the manufacture of antioxidants such as glutaione. Candidiasis symptoms cover a broad spectrum and the condition can cause a number of diseases, ranging from allergies, vaginitis, thrush to an invasion of the genitourinary tract, eyes, liver, heart, or central nervous system. At its most destructive, Candidiasis is involved in autoimmune diseases, such as Addison's disease, AIDS, and digestive problems.
Antibiotics - life saving cures for many diseases, may be the single greatest cause of Candidiasis, because antibiotic treatment for infections is nondiscriminatory, killing the "good" intestinal bacteria as well as the infection causing "bad". Antibiotics can cause the altered, imbalanced intestinal environment that Candida requires to change into an aggressive form. Candida puts down minute rootlets that penetrate the tissues on which the yeast is growing. When this happens to be in the inner wall of the intestines, it breaks down the closed wall of the bowel and the body. Toxic debris, yeast waste products, and partially digested proteins are allowed into the bloodstream, resulting in allergic and toxin reactions.
Antibiotics alter the balance of intestinal flora and suppress the immune system. In addition to medications, we are also exposed to antibiotics and other drugs in the meats and animal products that we consume. Antibiotics and steroids are fed to livestock in large dangerous quantities to prevent infection and stimulate growth. If you eat a lot of meat that contains even traces of antibiotics, you may develop a bacteria-yeast imbalance in your intestines.
When men develop Candidiasis, antibiotics, high sugar intake, or immune suppression (from illness, toxins and stress) are usually the root cause.
Immune suppression in both men and women can be due to any number of factors, such as poor diet (Including ingestion of pesticide residues and preservatives), alcohol use, chemotherapy, radiation, exposure to environmental toxins, antibiotics that injure or destroy the T cells, cortisone and stress. Consequently, conditions are created for opportunistic infections - and yeast to grow.
Approximately 35% of women using birth control pills have associated cases of acute vaginal candidiasis, and there are undoubtedly many others who have less pronounced evidence of yeast overgrowth. As immune competence is gradually compromised by the hormonal onslaught.
Candidiasis can cause a wide array of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, weight gain, depression, irritability, anxiety, hyper activity, allergies to both food and airborne allergens, confusion, loss of memory. Also gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, gas, cramps, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and heart burn. Further, it can also be responsible for severe PMS, sexual dysfunction and severe mood swings. Candidiasis when recurrent, causes jock itch, athletes foot, ringworm, and vaginal/urinary infections. A feeling of light headedness is also associated with Candidiasis after drinking minimal amounts of wine, beer or certain foods. Rashes, hives and Skin rashes can also be present. Respiratory problems including asthma, nasal or lung congestion, eye or ear irritation, sinus pressure, hay fever like attacks and coughing, migraine and headaches, sleep disturbances and heart palpitations.
The presence of parasites in patients can make candidiasis very difficult to treat, and that parasite infestation encourages yeast overgrowth. When treatment results for candidiasis are poor, parasites must be tested for, Parasites such as giardia lamblia, amoebas, nematodes and cestodes can be identified by means of blood, urine and fecal testing, as well as electroacupuncture biofeedback, as this will reveal how well the body will tolerate any medications that may be prescribed.
There is no one test that can categorically diagnoses Candidiasis. The only true way, is to know the patient's full medical history, and not to rely solely on the laboratory tests, and truly examine the patient, something that the conventional doctor has not been trained to do, as they are only taught in medical school to address symptoms, not causes. In short, it's the combination of an individual's complete medical history and examination, then the patient's response to treatment, and information culled from the laboratory tests.
WHAT TO AVOID:
The standard American diet, now contains higher amounts of refined carbohydrates and sugar than ever before - in breads, pasta, pastries, potato chips, desserts, candy soda, and junk foods. High-carbohydrate diets provide plenty of sugars in the body that support the growth of Candida, when sugar is eaten, intestinal fermentation creates a toxin called acetaldehyde, which affects all of the body's physiological functions, including digestion and hormonal processes. Yeast thrives on sugar, therefore a high sugar diet is one of the predisposing factors for Candida; and it doesn't stop there, alcohol, damp environments, milk and dairy products are just more of the right ingredients for the growth of Candida as well.
Diet (always first), Herbs, Oxygen Therapy, Ayurvedic Medicine, Acupuncture .
Allopaths frequently prescribe antifungal drugs such as nystatin, ketoconazol, and diflucan. However, these drugs should only be used as a very last resort. Instead one's body would far more appreciate a comprehensive natural approach. First one has to reduce the factors that predispose a patient to candida overgrowth. Secondly, the patient immune system must be strengthened.
Diet being the cause of all wellness should be taken seriously, how often do we hear "well, I don't eat that much junk food". Or, "I drink diet drinks so I don't take in too much sugar". Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Elimination of at least 1 month should include: all foods containing yeast, which includes bread, biscuits and cakes. All fermented foods, such as vinegar, soy sauce, and pickled foods. All forms of sugar, including chocolate, honey, maple syrup, sweetened drinks, and sweetened yogurt. Milk and dairy products. All refined white flour products, alcohol, black tea, coffee. Foods with artificial sweeteners, colourings, preservatives, and additives.
Instead, include these foods (yes there are some left, you won't starve): Whole grains like millet or rye, fresh vegetable and eliminate your intake of fresh fruits for at least the first week, as they have a high sugar content, then limit yourself to only eating 2 fruits a day (avoid very sweet and citrus fruits). Use lots of garlic, at least 1 clove per day, olive oil, extra virgin, cold pressed only.
Nutritional supplements should be used too, like vitamin B to increase antibody response. Vitamin C to stimulate the adrenal glands and is essential to immune processes. Vitamin E, the lack of which depresses immune response. Vitamin A which builds resistance to infection, and increases immune response. Take beta carotene, which is a form of vitamin A, a precursor that increases T cells. Antioxidant immune boosters like selenium, calcium and zinc are also beneficial in combating candida. Additional adrenal gland stimulants include chromium, magnesium and glandular adrenal extract. Essential fatty acids such as evening primrose oil may be considered as well.
As routine supplements, these should be considered:
|Vitamin C (8-10g daily.|
|Vitamin E 400IU daily.|
|Evening Primrose oil 6-8 capsules daily.|
|Eicosapentaenoic acid which is an omega-3 oil, 6 capsules daily.|
|Pantothenic acid which is vitamin B5, 250 mg daily.|
|Taurine 500-1000mg daily.|
|Zinc chelate 25-50 mg daily.|
|Goldenseal root extract, with no less than 5% hydrastine, 250 mg twice a day.|
|Lactobacillus acidophilus, 1 dry teaspoon 3 times daily. (If allergic to milk, use|
There is also recommendation of supplementation of hydrochloric acid (HCI) because its noted that aging, alcohol abuse, food allergies, and nutrient deficiencies create a lack of HCI in the stomach, which prevents food from being digested and permits candida overgrowth. Such supplementation helps restore the proper balance of intestinal flora. Recommended dose is 1 capsule of HCI and pepsin at the start of meals, increasing cautiously to 2 to 4 capsules with each meal if needed.
Herbs are often used to kill harmful yeasts and shore up immune function. They are used in teas, dried in capsules or tablets, or taken as suppository form. Herbs that contain berberian have proven particularly useful as anti candida agents. These include goldenseal, oregon grape, and barberry.
Caprylic acid is a favourite among many healers. By taking 3,600mg of caprylic acid daily for 2 weeks, one should notice a dramatic change in their health. Garlic is another very effective antifungal agent, allicin is the active ingredient in garlic, and has found to be more potent than many other antifungals.