For years I have known that I suffer from a Candida infection. I have been overweight and lethargic, and I often have a "foggy brain", easily forgetting things. For about 6 weeks now, I have been on a diet trying to "starve" this yeast overgrowth, and many of you have asked what, exactly, this condidtion is and how a person contracts it. Here is the low down:
According to www.naturopathconnect.com, Candida, or Candidiasis, is caused by candida overgrowth. In its benign form and in smaller quantities, Candida is inside all of us – in the digestive tract, mouth, and throat – isn’t a health problem. But candida can become too prevalent within the gut and change into its more virulent, fungal form. This fungal form of candida produces rhizoids – barbed appendages that cut into tissue and can cause candida to spore through the intestinal wall.
Once Candida has turned virulent and has made it’s way through the intestinal wall, it produces a multitude of problems and symptoms. One of the most prevalent is Leaky Gut Syndrome. Meaning that the irritation and sporing caused by candida, has made the intestinal wall too permeable, so that it actually leaks undigested food and toxins into the bloodstream. (Candida does not always result in this condition, as in my case. Mine, on the other hand, is now in my bloodstream and is known as Systemic Candidiasis)
While Candidiasis can be caused by a number of factors, and is typically the result of more than one cause, the recurrent use, or overuse, of antibiotics is often at least a contributing factor. Antibiotics kill off many of the good intestinal flora that restrain candida growth. Allowed to grow unchecked, candida can then morph into its fungal form and cause the problems and symptoms associated with Candidiasis.
You should also know that while candida overgrowth is not difficult to confirm through lab testing, an actual medical diagnosis of Candida can be difficult to obtain, as mainstream medicine has not widely or fully recognized candida overgrowth as a health concern. Common symptoms include:
So how do you get Candida?
Candida can be caused by:
So what do you do? The first and biggest suggestion is to formulate a diet that will starve the Candida. This can be difficult for some people, since it means NO sugar, No alcohol, no wheat or corn products, no fungi.
Why no sugar? Sugar FEEDS the yeast. And anything that turns into sugar (carbs, alcohol) feeds yeast. Why no wheat or corn? Now we get into mycotoxins. Myco, meaning "fungal", and toxin, meaning "bad for you"! Grains like wheat and corn are huge crops here in the US. And they tend to sit a while before being processed and distributed. That means they have the tendency to develop mold (mycotoxins) before it even reaches the factory. Any fungus, which is what mold is, should not be ingested while a person is trying to recover from Candida.
The second suggestion is to take the BEST probiotic supplement you can afford. I found one by Solaray called Multidophilus 12 which supplies the body with 12 strains of 20 Billion living probiotic organisms. The capsules are also "enteric coated to help allow for passage through harsh stomach acids and into the small intestine." Try to make sure that is the case with your supplement. You don't want the organisms to die in your stomach... You can also take foods high in probiotics like: yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods like kimchi and saurkraut.
I am interested in trying a new treatment, though, called ThreeLac. They offer a 60-day Money Back Guarantee and have tons of testimonials on their site... I may try it out. Here is the link if you're curious: http://www.candidasupport.org/treatment_faq.html
And here are some additional dietary guidelines: http://naturopathconnect.com/articles/candida-dietary/
Do you suffer with Candida? Do you have any more questions for me? I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below.