For many years Candidiasis, the overgrowth of a certain intestinal yeast called Candida Albicans, was not recognized as a serious health issue. Doctors did not consider Candida a potential health risk, because it is found in the intestines of all people. Recently, things began to change. It is now recognized that Candidiasis is causing health problems for over 30 million men and women every day, and is a major contributing factor or cause of:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Immune weakness
- Systemic degeneration
The last two by themselves add up to over two-dozen known health problems with sixty or more symptoms. Because of its seriousness as an infection and its ever-growing prevalence, a few descriptions and explanations are necessary so that we may be more aware of this topic.
Soon after birth, the microorganism Candida Albicans is normally found in the intestinal tract of healthy individuals. It co-exists with many other microorganisms in a “friendly” form. However, under certain conditions, Candida may be encouraged to change its structure to the “unfriendly” mycelial form. It is this second form that must be treated and eliminated. Mycelia are root-like structures that are able to penetrate into other tissues like the gastrointestinal wall. This penetration breaks down the protective barrier, allowing many foreign substances to enter and pollute the bloodstream. The results are usually allergic reactions, fatigue, immune system disorders and many other health problems.
Candida itself may also pass through the intestines and enter the bloodstream. Once there, it can have far-reaching effects on almost any other tissue. This is why, for women, vaginal yeast infections are often a recurrent problem. If the yeast in the vagina has arrived there because of a compromised intestine, locally treating the infection will not result in a cure.
A yeast cell produces over 75 known substances that are toxic to the human body and interfere with normal food absorption. Candidiasis can therefore be a dangerous condition for the elderly and those with longstanding illness.
The Major Predisposing Factors
Here are some factors that tend to cause Candida to change from the passive to the aggressive form:
- Loss of Natural Control Mechanisms - Wide-spectrum antibiotics destroy the good and healthful bacteria (probiotics), which control the candida population. For example, probiotics compete with Candida for space and nutrients in the intestinal tract. They also release acid, which makes the environment less favorable for candida growth and even feed off the candida directly. When antibiotics kill probiotics, candida proliferates and can change to its pathogenic mycelial form. Prolonged antibiotic use will often result in Candidiasis symptoms that may linger for a lifetime if left untreated.
- A Weakened Defense - A number of factors can compromise the effectiveness of the human immune system. Lowered immunity may result from prolonged illness, stress (all forms), pharmaceuticals, alcohol abuse, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of rest, and poor nutrition.
- Females - Females are more susceptible to Candidiasis than males for several reasons. First, hormonal levels in females fluctuate with regularity due to the menstrual cycle. High levels of hormones such as estrogen tend to impair immune system function and stimulate the growth of candida. Women may also take birth control pills. These synthetic hormones are just as bad as natural hormones and produce the same or worse effects. And finally, in the female system, it is easier for Candida to pass from the colon to the urinary and reproductive systems. Vaginal yeast infections are a common result.
- Creating a Breeding Ground - Because of highly refined foods such as flour and sugar, the once healthy large intestines of most Americans are now a breeding ground for Candida. American foods are highly processed, low in nutrients and low in fiber. They have a tendency to “cake” to the walls of the intestine where they putrefy, turn rancid and ferment. This is the perfect environment for Candida.
I specialize in desensitization protocols for microorganisms, food allergies and chemical disturbances. Being desensitized to Candida is a major catalyst for recovery. By simply using diet alone you must be very strict. Popular books dealing with Candidiasis recommend diet changes that, if adhered to, may take six months to one year to reverse the effects of the infection. Yeast is one of the most aggressive microorganisms around. You cannot have a bad day dieting when you are trying to get rid of yeast. Thankfully, my protocol, which includes diet, lifestyle recommendations and hands-on treatment, usually takes less than six weeks.
When Candida organisms are killed, large amounts of toxic material is rapidly released. This is called a “die-off” or a Herxheimer reaction. Die-off can produce certain uncomfortable effects such as flu symptoms (stuffiness, headache, general aches, and diarrhea), skin rashes, vaginal irritation/discharge, or even something unusual like numbness in the legs or mental confusion. These symptoms, although unpleasant at the time, are very temporary. One way to fight against this phenomenon is to support the detoxifying tissues since they incur the greatest burden. This is done with nutritional supplements. Patients rarely complain of adverse reactions when the proper supplements are given.
To correct Candidiasis quickly and in most cases, permanently, requires a four step process.
1.) Desensitization – the process through which your body no longer reacts adversely to the presence of yeast and yeast byproducts. see: Chronic Illness Protocol
2.) Diet modification – to ensure that the yeast growing in the gut does not receive its desired food for reproduction. For my recommended diet, see: Yeast Diet.
3.) Nutritional supplementation – to ensure that the body chemistry is in balance and to kill overgrown yeast.
4.) Structural and/or emotional corrections – to ensure that as much stress, in whatever form, is being reduced and eliminated, giving you a better chance at a full and complete recovery.
If all goes well, it is not uncommon for a patient to overcome Candidiasis within three to six weeks.