What Is Candida?

You have probably heard the word – quite often these days – but do you know what it actually is and what it does to your body if you have an overgrowth of it?

Hopefully this post will go some way towards teaching you the why, what and how to get rid of it information!

The illness is called ‘candidiasis’ which is the overgrowth of Candida – a yeast-like fungi in the body.  This is what the Chinese refer to as a ‘dampness’ condition.  You feel heavy and sluggish, mental dullness, possible infections with yeasts and pathogenic moisture such as edema (fluid retention) and excess mucous.

If you have a digestive imbalance then chances are that you are playing host to this not so friendly parasite.  Yes, it is a parasite!

Candida tends to exist in high levels in individuals with weak immune systems – although it is normal for us to have some candida present in our gut when we are healthy and have a strong immune system – it is kept under control by the good bacteria in the gut.  Good bacteria play their role for proper nutrient absorption and are indispensable to our digestion.

Candida has an opposite effect in the digestive tract – inhibiting the take up of essential amino acids and other nutrients.  What follows in candidiasis is the weakening of immunity as well as the entire organism (body).  Ouch!

This yeast does not always confine itself to the digestive tract unfortunately.  It slips through weakened areas in the gut lining  or spreads through the anus into the sexual organs of both men and women (especially women) – from there into the blood and other body tissues.

Such spread of candida throughout the entire system – usually termed as ‘systemic’, is life-threatening if left untreated.  It is thought by some to be the cause of death in AIDS patients and various other viral-related degenerative illnesses.

Toxic by-products of normal systemic candida stimulate the body’s immune responses  but in a serious yeast infestation can tax the immune system to the point where it can no longer respond to invading viruses or other harmful substances.  The immune system ultimately breaks down which paves the way for autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

Even if none of the above conditions do set in, the effects of yeast-induced poisoning can produce allergic reactions to minor environmental or dietary toxins.  If it progresses then one can become allergic to almost anything!

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms of high level candid growth can or may include the following:

Chronic Tiredness

Mental sluggishness

Chronic Vaginitis or Prostatitis

Anal Itching

Bloating And Other Digestive Problems

Extreme Sensitivity To Tobacco Smoke And Chemical Fumes

Bad Breath

Mucous In The Stools

Frequent Colds

Cravings For Sweets And Yeasted Breads

Recurrent Fungal Infections  – Athlete’s Foot

Low Immune System

What Causes The Problem?

The causes of candida problems are related to consumption of yeast and dampness creating foods – cold in temperature, too sweet or salty, mucous producting and stale or rancid.  Too much raw food additionally weakens the digestion – shown by loose or watery stools.

Also included amongst products that induce yeast are certain kinds of ferments, yeasted breads, alcoholic beverages, most intoxicants (even tea and coffee), and any food in excessive amounts.  Complicated meals made of a lot of different ingredients on the plate promote fermentation in the digestive system, exactly what yeasts thrive on.

The biggest factor in having candida overgrowth is the massive and/or repeated use of anti-biotic drugs.  Unfortunately these drugs kill off all the micro-organisms in the digestive tract – the good as well as the bad.  Now that is making a welcoming home environment for more yeasts and fungi to move in and take over.

For women who take oral contraceptives, the risk is greater than average of developing candidiasis, as it has become clear that a continual unnatural stimulation of the hormonal system unbalances the liver and pancreas – the organs that support a healthy environment in the digestive tract.

Added to that mix, anxiety and worry will greatly increase damp excesses such as yeast overgrowth.

Controlling Candida With Diet

Cutting down on foods rich in carbohydrates and they are mucous and acid-forming.  Eating too much of these will contribute to yeast and fungal conditions quite quickly.  If you have candida severely then avoid grains generally – ie gluten.  Quinoa is fine as it is more protein than carbohydrate-based.

Sweet foods to be avoided completely as are anything with yeast in it.  The sweet foods include fruits which, even though fructose, are just sugar.  Particularly juices or smoothies.

Avoid starchy vegetables also such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams – carrots, parsnips and beets are ok.

Avoid animal protein generally as most of it has been heavily dosed with antibiotics.  Unless you know a good organic supply.  Fish and fowl is generally better tolerated – especially if it is raised without the use of chemicals!

Miso, soya sauce and tempeh are actually tolerated even though fermented – however in small amounts and not daily!  Your body will tell you if it can cope with it – if not, you will feel tired, then stop them.

Generally avoid oils, nuts and seeds except in small quantities.  Only good quality olive oil or omega oils or flaxseed oil.

Avoid stimulants like tea and coffee, caffeinated drinks, fizzy drinks and alcohol – wine is a fermented product as is beer – it will just bloat you and make you feel uncomfortable.

The Good Guys

Garlic – anti viral and anti fungal – half a clove twice a day before meals taken like a tablet with water.  Just prior to the garlic, take wheat or barley grass concentrate – they will help to protect the stomach from the fire of garlic!  Best taken in powder form rather than juice.  Up to a tablespoon just prior to the meal.

Pau d’arco – a South American herb excels in controlling candida as does chaparral, and burdock.

Chlorophyll – can be taken in liquid form and tastes quite pleasant.

Kelp and other seawees are exceptional in treating candida as they contain selenium and other minerals necessary for rebuilding immunity.  Also the iodine content of the seaweeds is used by the body to create free radicals which deactivate yeasts.

Restrict salt intake to a pinch of only whole sea salt into vegetables.

Acidophilus is an important part of this repair as it will help to rebuild the friendly bacteria.

Citrus seed extract – extremely powerful an anti-microbial highly effective against yeasts.  Diluted according to instructions it is very effective agains most external fungal conditions.

This is a broad idea of treatment protocols.  However, depending on the strength of the person involved the diet may need to be tailored to suit.  Please consult with a natural health practitioner if in any doubt.

Please do not attempt any treatment options if in doubt!

To your health – with love