Why is candida overgrowth so hard to get rid of? Why do most doctors tell you it’s all in your head and they simply can’t diagnose it, see it on a lab test and can’t find an appropriate treatment for it? Why is candidiasis a growing epidemic in our modern society? Because there will never be one diet or nutritional approach for a given problem that works for all people! And because like with many other health disorders, unidirectional approaches that want to cover up symptoms while neglecting the real cause, often fail.
What Is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida albicans colonizes most people and is the most significant fungal pathogen causing localized and systemic infections, allergies, and even triggering autoimmune disorders such as celiac and Crohn’s disease. Candida is highly immunogenic and is associated with histamine release, increases in proinflammatory cytokines and IgE, decreases in anti-inflammatory cytokines, and a decline in natural killer cell function.
Candida lives in the mouth, throat, intestines and genitourinary tract of most humans and is usually considered to be a normal part of the bowel flora. But when the immune system weakens, this once normal organism present in our bodies turns pathogenic. It is an opportunistic organism, one which, when given the opportunity, will attempt to colonize all bodily tissues.
If the condition is not properly addressed, candida can spread to all parts of the body causing a plethora of symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, uncoordination, lack of concentration, mood swings, dizziness, headaches, bad breath, coughing, wheezing, joint swelling, arthritis, failing vision, spots in front of the eyes, ear pain, deafness, burning or tearing eyes, muscle aches, depression, irritability, sweet cravings, increasing food and chemical sensitivities, numbness and tingling, cold hands and feet, asthma, hay fever, multiple allergies, hives and rashes, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fungal infections like genital yeast infections, athlete?s foot, ringworm and fingernail/ toenail infections.
In addition, 79 different toxic products are known to be released by candida , which in itself places a considerable burden on the immune system. These get into the bloodstream and travel to all parts of the body where they may give rise to a host of adverse symptoms.
Major Contributing Factors to Candida Infections.
Candida overgrowth is considered a modern epidemic since it evolved during our current times when society is drugged out more than ever and processed diets are the norm. The key factors that promote an imbalance in the body and so allowing candida to turn pathogenic and spread are:
- antibiotics and sulfa drugs (Antibiotics kill the good flora which normally keeps the candida under control. This allows for the unchecked growth of candida in the intestinal tract. After only 48 hours of taking tetracycline, yeast can be cultured easily from anyone taking it. If you must take antibiotics, always take along a course of probiotics.)
- steroid hormones, immunosupressant drugs (such as cortisone which treat severe allergic problems by paralyzing the immune system’s ability to react)
- pregnancy and birth control pills (which upset the body’s hormonal balance)
- processed diets high in carbs and sugar, yeast, as well as molds and overdoing fermented foods
The rapid and direct proliferation of the yeast following antibiotic use strongly suggests that the problem of candida is one which stems from an inner state of imbalance, rather than from an outside attack by a microbe or disease. This is a very important point to understand if one wishes to get rid of an overgrowth problem, suggesting that candida is not so much a problem as is the body’s own failure to control it! (William Wolcott, Founder of The Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing)
Integrative Approach For Long Term Cure.
Candida is not the problem. The problem is a compromised immune system that fails to control the candida. This is the reason why so many people fail to rid themselves of candida overgrowth. They limit their approach to trying to kill off the candida, but when the protocol is stopped, the candida overgrowth problem comes right back again. The only real, final solution is to restore efficiency to the immune system, a task that can only be accomplished through addressing individual nutritional and biochemical requirements through defining one’s Metabolic Type.
Because different people have different metabolisms and so unique biochemistries, which require different amounts and balances of nutrients for optimum health .
Because nutritionally speaking, what helps make one person better, may have little or no effect on another, or even make a third person worse.
Because any adverse symptom or degenerative condition can arise due to virtually opposite biochemical imbalances.
Because clinical reality has been proven over and over again over time that the allopathic, symptom-treatment approach in nutrition is baseless and so often ineffective.
Why do candida infections reoccur so often? Consider the following:
- If different people have different requirements for nutrition, and
- If the immune system is highly dependent on the proper biochemical balance to function efficiently, and
- If the immune system is supposed to keep candida in check, and
- If the problem of candida overgrowth reoccurs when one
stops the anti-fungal agent . . .
- . . . Then it is obvious that a diet which is inappropriate for efficient immune system function is being followed, which may in part be responsible for the body’s failure to control the yeast.
Any anti-candida diet is like any other one-size fits all diet! Usually such diets require the considerable restriction of carbohydrates (beans, fruits, breads, grains, cereals, peas, sweet potatoes and some squashes) sometimes to as little as 60 grams a day. Although for some metabolic types this may be helpful, (such as the protein types), for others it may be responsible for worsening an already malnutritive condition. Starving the yeast is one thing, but starving the patient or imbalancing the biochemistry at the same time can only be weakening to the immune system and therefore counter-productive.
So in addition to the metabolic type diet, the right diet for your unique metabolism, it is also recommended to avoid foods that are known to stimulate candida growth until this is brought under control. These main food groups are:
- sugar, honey, molasses, syrup & high quantities of fruit and juice
- molds and fermented foods
- yeast products (for yeast sensitive or yeast allergic people)
There are many natural, powerful antifungals now available that can clear up an infection when this occurs. My favorites are raw propolis, berberine, monolaurin, oregano oil and garlic extract. An important aspect to consider here are biofilms. In severe candida overgrowth, the yeast colonies can dig deep into intestinal walls, damaging the bowel wall in their colonization. Candida colonization occurs within mucosal and skin biofilms where it is highly resistant to eradication.
A biofilm is a gathering of sessile microorganisms firmly attached to a surface. In addition to exopolysaccharides, biofilm matrix typically contain proteins, nucleic acids, and di- and trivalent cations. Candida and other microorganisms primarily live in biofilm because it affords them protection from competitors, preditors, antimicrobials, host immune responses, and toxins. Biofilm prevents microbial communities from being dislodged from an environment. As Candida enters into biofilm mode, antifungal drug resistance is manifested by these organisms.
A nonpharmaceutical approach to Candida biofilm eradication involves the use of enzymes and chelating agents, specific probiotics, gut healing supplements, along with antifungals and a right customized diet.
Many people desperately try to get rid of symptoms without addressing the real cause of their health problems.Why did an illness happen in the first place? Many candida sufferers couldn’t heal completely until they solved their biochemical imbalances, toxicity problems (coming from heavy metals, especially mercury), their gastrointestinal imbalances (coming from intestinal permeability, parasites and bacterial overgrowth), their food reactivities and hormonal imbalances.
As you see, candida overgrowth is just a symptom like many others. And it’s sent by our body as a signal, telling us it’s time to look into our health more seriously and solve hidden causes of our health complaints.
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Wolcott, William. CANDIDA ALBICANS . . .Are You Winning Battles But Losing the War?
The Yeast Connection , by William G. Crook, M.D.
Stephen Olmstead, MD, Dennis Meiss, PhD, and Janet Ralston, BS. Fungal-Type Dysbiosis & Chronic Disease Exploring The Nature of the Yeast Connection
Martin, Jeanne Marie. Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook