Candidiasis, a form of fungus, is an overgrowth of yeast in the body, otherwise known as “yeast syndrome”. Yeast is not uncommon; in fact, your body can maintain a small amount of yeast in your colon to balance the other bacteria that is present. Candida albicans yeast can often be found present in the throat, intestines, and genitals, in small quantities. 75% of all women have experienced an over growth of yeast in the vagina. This excess growth is referred to as a ‘yeast infection’. Women are more prone to getting Candidiasis because of the likelihood of using birth control pills, antibiotics, estrogen levels and anatomical differences.
The yeast and bacteria exist in a symbiotic environment. Problems can begin when this ‘relationship’ begins to fail. There are many reasons this can happen, the main one being antibiotics. Unfortunately, when the yeast begins to take over the “good” bacteria it can lead to many different symptoms. The symptoms are a signal that your bodily functions are out of harmony and balance, medically what is called homeostasis. Candidiasis can affect all aspects of your physiology; nervous system, immune system, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal.
Other contributors can be:
- Lack of daily nutrients
- Insufficient liver processing
- Immune deficiency
- Irregular digestive functions; constipation, diarrhea, parasites
- Antibiotic overuse
- Food allergies
- High-sugar or carbohydrate diet
- Chronic stress
Antibiotics, especially broad spectrum, can kill off the “good” bacteria, Bifidobacteria bifidum and Lactobaccillus acidophilus, and leave the yeast free to multiple and spread to other parts of the body. Many times a person may have a condition that can be treated naturally, but instead are treated with antibiotics. The use of antibiotics can also help suppress the immune system. Someone with a Candida overgrowth may report that they have not used antibiotics for years, this may indeed be the case, yet once an imbalance is created it can exist for a very long period of time until corrected. In addition, many people do not realize that many store bought meat products have residual antibiotics and that meat is now on the dinner table.
Your immune system protects you from getting sick. When the yeast is allowed to take over, it can release toxins into the body. The immune system responds to these toxins and begins to fight it. However, the Candida albicans can trick the immune system by changing its appearance. So, the immune system continues to fight an ever changing enemy. Since the immune system is constantly trying to fight it off, it is weakened and becomes an easy target for other invaders. One of the body’s defense mechanisms is inflammation. Inflammation is the body trying to surround the offender and kill it. Having chronic inflammation is unhealthy for the body and continues to weaken the immune system.
The intensity of how Candida affects your body depends on your immune system, and how and where it spreads throughout the body. An easy target for spreading is your intestines, since it naturally lives in the intestinal walls. Conditions that can manifest from Candidiasis are ‘small intestine bacterial overgrowth’ and ‘leaky gut syndrome’. In other words, systemic or chronic Candidiasis can lead to many different conditions that manifest as symptoms. Here are just some of the relatable symptoms:
Abdominal pain and swelling
Skin infections; jock itch, rashes under the breast and folds of skin elsewhere, athletes’ foot, or ringworm
Diet plays an important role in causing and eliminating the over growth of Candidiasis. Yeast feeds off of sugars, carbohydrates, and starches. So, if you eat high-sugar foods you will not only crave these foods, but you will be feeding the yeast and continue this cycle. Avoiding sugary foods along with milk products, alcohol, cheese, peanuts, and fruit juices would significantly reduce the yeast behavior. Milk contains sugar, lactose, which can feed the yeast. Depending on the milk you purchase it may contain antibiotics. Cheese is a fungus promoting food and should be avoided as well.
If you have food allergies, your immune system is more susceptible to other imbalances especially in the gastrointestinal tract. So if you are experiencing yeast symptoms, then getting a food sensitivity test is a good investment. After all, you are only as healthy as you are properly fueled. Once a yeast infection settles in, like an overgrowth of Candida albicans, then you are clinically more likely to develop and worsen existing food allergies/sensitivities. With a simple home collection test, a sample can be collected and sent to a national laboratory to see which foods may be burdening your body.
There is also a home collection kit available to test to measure whether Candida albicans is actually an issue for you and also to see if you are making progress in your battle to reclaim your health and the balance of bacteria and yeast within your body.
The liver is a very important organ in your body. It processes toxins and filters the blood. If the liver is in poor health it may allow the yeast to spread more easily throughout the body.
However, these are not widely recognized syndromes due to the fact that they are fairly recent discoveries and have not had much research. The research that is being done supports:
- Antibiotic overuse and digestive diseases
- Inflammation and autoimmune diseases
Many people who have sought treatment for their symptoms have reported “generally feeling bad”. Fortunately, these symptoms may subside with a specific diet that doesn’t “feed” the yeast. The first step is to determine whether you have Candidiasis. In order to treat Candidiasis, start by changing the way you eat; eliminating sugary foods, milk, dried fruit, cheese, and alcohol. Determine if you have any food allergies and avoid them. Stop taking antibiotics until symptoms clear up after discussion with your prescribing healthcare provider. Take a high quality multi-vitamin, and if you can find it, make sure it contains plenty of Vitamin C & E. These are wonderful antioxidants that can help during this time.
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