The most common fungus to negatively affect humans, Candida albicans, primarily colonizes the skin and the mucosal membranes of the mouth, genitals, and digestive tract. There are also a few other types of Candida that can impact our health as well; all strains respond well to naturopathic treatment.
Conventional medical experts say that from 30-70% of the present population have a benign colonization of this yeast. I would bet any well trained naturopath will tell you that more than 90% of the population host a Candida colonization and most of them are not benign, not in our modern, processed, easy-food society. In addition, I am yet to meet anyone suffering from any illness, who is not dealing with an overabundance of Candida.
When Candida leads to disease, conventional medical belief states that the infection can be localized, invasive, or systemic. Alternative medical belief would argue that a local infection such as a skin infection, vaginitis, or thrush is an indication that the gut, and likely the whole rest of the body, is already overwhelmed. Lending credence to this belief is the fact that the fastest way to kill any type of Candida infection, and insure it does not come right back, revolves around balancing the gut microbes.
The Candida connection with allergies, asthma, and dermatitis has long been accepted. Current research suggests Candida antigens may trigger celiac and Crohn’s disease. Even though these links of Candida to disease are acknowledged, the conventional medical community is hesitant to understand and accept the role of Candida in patients with multiple complaints often labeled as either non-specific autoimmune disease or more often as psychosomatic illness. These symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, rashes, dysuria, urinary frequency, vaginitis, and more. Nor do they realize Candida is so often the underlying cause for chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, environmental exposure syndrome, and central sensitization syndrome. Candida even effects the brain, and can be the precursor to many different mental illnesses from depression to schizophrenia. In other words, when the immune system goes belly up, Candida is almost always a major factor, if not, one of the few basic causes, though this connection is often overlooked or ignored.
There are more than 200 species of Candida, but less than a dozen affect humans. Candida alternate in form from budding yeast cells called blastospores to hyphae, thread-like filaments that bore through tissue and individual cells. The fact that it can alternate back and forth in form makes it harder for the immune system to respond to it. We are now discovering that it can produce slightly differing hyphae in different parts of the body, again creating a different immune response.
Candida is controlled or eliminated through diet and supplements, but studies have shown it often reoccurs. Since the same studies showed diet was the most important factor in eliminating the overgrowth, it only stands to reason that dietary changes need to be a lifelong commitment. A return to a standard American diet is a return to disease. A healthy diet, though not as restrictive as a diet designed to kill Candida, will help prevent a recurrence.
Candida overgrowth is certainly linked to antibiotic use, but it is also clearly a by-product of our sugar laden, processed, frankenscience American diet. If you are experiencing allergies, depression, slow healing, a weak immune system, dizzy spells, brain fog, insomnia, migraines, or any autoimmune problems such as chemical sensitivities, unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, or similar symptoms, get the Candida that is in your body under control and know that eating well, eating a truly healthy diet is essential in keeping Candida at bay.
Believe it or not, chances are you eat too much sugar. Even most of us health nuts do. Sugar from fruit is fine when the fruit is whole, but sweet fruit and vegetable juices, agave, honey, brown rice syrup, and any refined sugar feeds Candida. To learn more about Candida and how to fight it, check out How To Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem.
- Floramind-Prime by Thorne
- Shillington’s Intestinal Cleanse
- Formula SF722
- MicroDefense – Pure Encapsulations
- 80% Raw Food Diet
- Candida Overgrowth Symptoms
- How to Cure Candida
- How To Kill Candida and Balance Your Inner Ecosystem
- Stephen Olmstead, MD; Dennis Meiss, PhD; and Janet Ralston,BS, Candida, Fungal-Type Dysbiosis, and Chronic Disease: Exploring the Nature of theYeast Connection, Townsend Letter, June 2012