CANDIDA (Yeast Infection)




ARTICLE #1 Candida Self-Test

ARTICLE #2 Candida Causes.....

ARTICLE #3 Candida the Mimic

ARTICLE #4 Natural Treatments for Candida

ARTICLE #5 Candida and Coconut Oil

ARTICLE #6 Candida and RAW Apple Cider Vinegar






Candida Self-Test


Do you experience regular fatigue and/or muscle aches and pains?
yes
no
Do you have food sensitivities or food allergies?
yes
no
Have you experienced nail fungus, athlete's foot or jock itch?
yes
no
Do you have recurrent vaginal yeast infections?
yes
no
Have you taken broad spectrum antibiotics, even for one period?
yes
no
Do you crave sugar?
yes
no
Do you commonly have gas and bloating?
yes
no
Do you crave bread, pasta, or other starches and refined products?
yes
no
Have you taken birth control pills for 6 months or longer?
yes
no
Do you experience brain fog or feel like you are dreaming while awake?
yes
no
Have you taken prednisone or other cortisone drugs for over two weeks?
yes
no
Do your symptoms worsen when you are exposed to perfume, paint fumes, cigarette smoke, insecticides, or other chemicals?
yes
no
Are your symptoms worsen on damp, muggy, humid days or when you are in a moldy place?
yes
no
Do you have endometriosis or infertility?
yes
no
Do you have menstrual irregularity or cramping?
yes
no
Do you have anxiety attacks or unexplained crying?
yes
no
Are you irritable or do you shake when hungry?
yes
no

If you answer "yes" to 3 or more of these questions you MAY be suffering from an overgrowth of candida.






back to top




Candida Causes......

Candida is a genus of yeastlike fungi that produce yeast cells, mycelia, pseudomycelia, and blastospores. Some species are part of the normal flora of human skin and mucous membranes, but can also cause various infections.

There are many different types of candida which can cause different types of infections. (C. = Candida)

C. albicans Normal flora of human skin and mucous membranes. Most frequent cause of candidiasis.
C. glabrata Normal flora of human mouth, gut, and urinary tract. May cause opportunistic infections such as torulopsosis, meningitis, pneumonia, cystitis, and fungemia.
C. guilliermondii Sometimes causes cutaneous candidiasis, onychomycosis, meningitis, and endocarditis.
C. krusei A species occasionally associated with candidiasis, esophagitis, endocarditis, and vaginitis.
C. lusitaniae Can cause opportunistic infections.
C. mesenterica Causes fermentation in fruit acids.
C. parapsilosis Sometimes causes endocarditis, paronychia, or otitis externa.
C. pseudotropicalis Sometimes causes vulvovaginal candidiasis.
C. stellatoidea A species that sometimes causes vulvovaginal candidiasis or endocarditis. Some authorities consider it a variant of C. albicans.
C. tropicalis A species that sometimes causes vaginitis, meningitis, onychomycosis, or bronchopulmonary infection.
C. vini A species found in fermenting liquors and diabetic urine.

The human body normally contains some degree of candida. Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast in the body. Approximately 1 yeast cell exists for every 1 million bacteria cells in the digestive system. In this healthy ratio, candida is held in check by the beneficial bacteria.

What contemporary medical doctors often don't recognize is that candida can grow and colonize in the digestive tract, producing toxins that are absorbed in the bloodstream. This has detrimental effects on our immune systems, hormonal balance, and virtually every system in the body. About the only things contemporary medical doctors do recognize are local candida infections and vaginal yeast infections.

Candida infections lead to a condition called Candidiasis. Candidiasis is usually a superficial infection of the skin or mucous membranes, although sometimes it manifests as a systemic infection. Any form can become very severe in someone whose immune system is not functioning properly.

Below are some examples of candidiasis (c. = candidiasis)

Acute pseudomembranous c. (Thrush) Candidiasis of the oral mucosa. Characterized by white plaques of soft curdlike material that may be stipped off, leaving a raw bleeding surface.
Atophic c. Type of oral c. marked by erythematous, pebbled patches in the mouth or on the surface of the tongue. A complication of numerous different conditions such as vitamin deficiency, diabetes, or poorly fitting dentures.
Bronchopulmonary c. Candidiasis of the respiratory tract often associated with pneumonia.It ranges from mild to severe and life-threatening.
Chronic mucocutaneous c. Infections of the oral mucosa, skin, nails, or vaginal mucosa that may be resistant to treatment and may be associated with endocrinopathy or immunosuppression.
Cutaneous c. Candidiasis of the skin, which may be manifested as eczema-like lesions of the interdigital spaces, perleche, or chronic paronychia.
Endocardial c. Candidal infection of the lining membranes of the chambers of the heart.
Oral c. Thrush
Pulmonary c. Infections seen in immunocompromised patients or those with malignancies.
Vaginal c. Candidal infection of the vagina, and usually also the vulva. Characterized by pruritis, creamy white discharge, vulvar erythema and swelling, and dyspareunia (difficult or painful sexual intercourse)

Candida yeast can produce toxins that harm the intestinal lining. As candida grows and multiplies, it roots into the linings and secretes acids. This causes damage to the digestive tract which can then allow normally excluded larger molecules to be absorbed through the lining and into the bloodstream. These large molecules could be only partially digested foods. Your body doesn't recognize these molecules and your immune system reacts against them. That's why people with candida react to foods, chemicals, and other things in their environment. This process often called "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and can also be seen with the consumption of gluten containing foods.

Candida can also be the cause of many autoimmune diseases. As stated earlier, when the lining of the protective membranes are damaged it can lead to "leaky gut syndrome". In leaky gut syndrome, large undigested food particles can enter the bloodstream leading the body to think it is foreign material. The immune system then becomes sensitized and attacks the particles. This is what leads to food allergies or sensitivity to commonly eaten foods. Taking this process further the body can have hyperreactions and begin to attack itself. This is autoimmunity. There are about 80 known autoimmune diseases. Candida may play a role in evolution of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Chrohn's disease, diabetes, Lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

Concerning systemic candida, it is actually quite easy for the ratio of beneficial to bad bacteria to change in favor of the candida. For a variety of reasons, candida can quickly take over and disrupt the delicate balance of the digestive tract. This is when negative health effects can be felt by the individual.

A few of the most common things that can lead to candida overgrowth are prolonged stress, your diet (eating things that feed candida), incomplete digestion, and antibiotic use. In prolonged stress, the body directs its resources to the brain and the muscles rather than fighting an infection or properly digesting food. This creates a breading ground for candida.

Your diet may be a candida dream. If you consume diets rich in processed foods you are fueling the multiplication of candida. Candida loves sugar and diets high in refined carbohydrates. Candida also thrives when its competitors die because good bacteria need diets high in fiber and UNprocessed foods to thrive.

Incomplete digestion of food particles may be contributing to candida growth. Foods that are not properly broken down will ferment and putrify in the digestive system. This becomes a perfect breading ground for candida and harmful bacteria. This incomplete digestion is commonly caused by deficiencies of enzymes and hydrochloric acid. The most common reasons for these deficiencies are the use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors.

Antibiotic use is a huge concern when it comes to candida. Anitbiotics kill all forms of BACTERIA, whether good or bad. Candida is a yeast, not a bacteria, therefore cannot be killed by antibiotics. This creates the perfect opportunity for candida to grow and rapidly multiply in an environment that has now been made virtually free of competition.

All of these factors described lead to a condition know as dysbiosis.

The image below shows candida in the esophagus.

What can candida cause?

Gas and bloating, brain fog, infections, and fatigue are a few signs and symptoms associated with candida infestations. When candida begins to overpopulate, it starts to produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct of its consumption. The result is persistant gas and a bloated feeling.

Brain fog is another symptom of candida overgrowth. Acetaldehyde produced by candida is converted to ethanol by the liver in its attempt to detoxify the chemical. The more candida that is present, the more the blood alcohol level rises, which results in the feeling of drunkenness or cloudy senses.

As the candida yeast destroys protective linings and travels through the bloodstream, it produces many infections. For example, chronic ear infection and sinus troubles may be due to candida. Doctors incorrectly give antibiotics for fungal ear and sinus infections, which can destroy the good bacteria making these conditions much worse. Candida overgrowth is also responsible for fingernail, toenail, and recurrent vaginal yeast infections.

Everyone feels fatigue, joint, and muscle pain. If this is a consistant symptom you may have candida. The excess toxins produced by candida make the body exert more energy than normal to cleanse itself, thus draining your energy. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings are a common symptoms of candida because the yeast feeds on sugars. The result is that you desire sugar more and this can cause a rollercoaster effect with your energy.

Systemic Candidiasis

Candidemia - Candida in the bloodstream is currently the fourth most common organism to be found. It is generally aquired in a hospital or doctor's office. Some causes of candidemia without invasive disease include: Intravascular catheter use and endocarditis. The frequency of endocarditis has increased in the past few years. Endocarditis is the most common cause of fungal endocarditis and is primarily due to Candida albicans (>60% of cases). The 2 different forms of endocarditis are exogenous (coming in from outside the body), which is secondary to direct infection during surgery, and endogenous (originating from inside the body), which is due to secondary spread during candidemia and disseminated candidiasis. Endocarditis is frequently associated with 4 main risk factors. These are (1) intravenous heroin use, (2) chemotherapy; (3) prosthetic valves, and (4) prolonged use of central venous catheters.

• Disseminated candidiasis - This is frequently associated with multiple deep organ infections or may involve only one organ infection. Patients with disseminated candidiasis may have blood culture results negative for Candida species. The history of a patient with presumed disseminated candidiasis reveals a fever unresponsive to broad-spectrum antimicrobials and negative results from blood culture.

• Candida endophthalmitis - this is a candidal inflammation involving the eye cavities and their adjacent structures. Here there is an exogenous and endogenous form. Exogenous endophthalmitis is associated with either accidental or postoperative injury of the eye and inoculation of the organism from the outside environment. Endogenous endophthalmitis results from hematogenous seeding of the eye (the candida is spread through the blood into the eye). The patient's history reveals a broad range of manifestations,which include but are not limited to: Ocular pain, photophobia (abnormal intolerance to light), scotomas (area of lost or blurring of vision within the visual field), and floaters ("spots before the eyes", deposits in the vitreous usually moving about and probably representing fine aggregates of vitreous protein).

• Renal candidiasis - Candida in the kidney most frequently a consequence of candidemia and disseminated candidiasis. It is unresponsive to broad-spectrum antimicrobials. Frequently, patients are asymptomatic and lack symptoms referable to the kidney.

• Candidal CNS infections - This also has two forms which are exogenous infection and endogenous infection. The spectrum of this disease can include the following: Meningitis, granulomatous vasculitis, diffuse cerebritis with microabscesses, mycotic aneurysms, fever unresponsive to broad-spectrum antimicrobials, mental status changes. The physical examination can reveal fever, nuchal rigidity (stiff neck), confusion, and coma.

• Candida arthritis, osteomyelitis, costochondritis, and myositis - The most common sites of involvement are the knee and vertebral column. Other commonly affected sites include the following: Ribs and leg bones (<20 years old), vertebral column and paraspinal abscess (seen in adulthood), flat bones (any age group), and the sternum (generally observed postoperatively after cardiac surgery). Generally, arthritis is a complication of disseminated candidiasis, but it may be caused by trauma or direct inoculation due to surgery or steroid injections. Most cases are acute and begin as a suppurative synovitis. Most cases are due to hematogenous seeding and infect the vertebral disks and progress to diskitis with extension into the vertebrae from contiguous spread. Other bones affected include the wrist, femur, scapula, and proximal humerus. Costochondritis is associated with localized pain over the involved area or the ribs. People with myositis have a history of muscular pain.

• Candida cholecystitis - This is inflammation of the gallbladder due to systemic candidiasis. This is rare and generally is associated with bacterial cholangitis and ascending (from the intestines) cholangitis. Most commonly, Candida cholecystitis is diagnosed at the time of surgery when a culture is obtained.

Given the above information, one can see that candida has many causes and can cause many dysfunctions. The important thing is to recognize that candida is a possibility for many differential diagoses.




back to top




Candida the Mimic

Candida is a great mimic of disease.

Are you experiencing any of the following?

Chronic fatigue
Clogged sinuses
Bloating
Nail fungus
Gas
Psoriasis
Intestinal cramps
Low energy
Diabetes
Rectal itching
Allergies
Vaginal yeast infection
Chemical sensitivities
Low immune function
Depression
Ring worm
Bladder infections
Diaper rash
Jock itch
Arthritis
Athletes foot
Adrenal problems
Burning tongue
Thrush
Lack of concentration
Decreased libido
Irritability
Carbohydrate cravings
Hyperactivity
Gout Tinnitis (ringing of the ears)

If you have been tested by your doctor and the doctor can't seem to find anything wrong with you, it may be Candida causing the problems. The doctor says he can't find anything wrong, but you just don't feel right, it may be candida.

Things that can be pre-disposing factors to Candidiasis. These may include:

Dietary factors
Nutritional deficiencies
Antibiotic use
Birth control pills
Synthetic estrogens (HRT)
Impaired immunity
Impaired liver function
AIDS or Cancer




back to top




Natural Treatments for Candida


There are plenty of therapeutic treatments to help with the elimination of candida. It's important to begin all supplements with small doses and then gradually increase the amount. When candida are killed, they release protein fragments and toxins that can trigger an antibody response from the immune system. This results in a temporary worsening of symptoms called a die-off or Herxheimer reaction.

Many people begin to notice improvement in their symptoms after two to four weeks of continuous treatment.


Diet

The following dietary measures are part of the standard diet to control candida. Remember that these dietary restrictions are not permanent, they are just implimented until the candida has been put back in check.

Foods You Should Avoid

Sugars- Avoid sugar in all its forms, and all foods containing sugar, including fruits. This includes brown or white sugar, demerara, molasses, syrup, honey, malt, chocolate, all forms of confectionery, icing, marzipan, ice creams, deserts, puddings, cakes, biscuits, soft drinks, Check ALL packets for hidden sugar - it’s even in some frozen or canned vegetables. Types of sugar also include anything that ends in "ose", such as fructose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, glucose, galactose, and dextrose. So malted grains, even spices with added sugar are all out. Read labels carefully. The hidden sugars to watch for also include: glycogen, monosaccharides, polysaccharides.

Yeast products- It has been said that foods that contain yeast should be eliminated. These include: Baker's yeast, Brewer's yeast, Engevita, Torula, and any other nutritional yeast. Baked goods raised with yeast such as breads, rolls, crackers, bagels, pastries, pizza, and muffins should also be eliminated. NOTE: Yeast: Dried nutritional yeast is an excellent natural source of B complex vitamins (except for B12) plus a variety of minerals. Look for yeast that has been processed at low temperatures. Yeast does not contribute to candida as has been claimed candida feeds on refined carbohydrates, not yeast. The late eminent physician Dr. Henry Bieler treated many cases of chronic fatigue with yeast supplements. Therefore, given the divergence of opinions on yeast, it is best to still avoid them, mainly because most yeast products are of a refined nature and are easily converted to sugars in the body. What is also important is to make sure that the yeast containing foods you are concerned about do not contain any hidden sugars.

Cows milk and most milk products including cream and most cheeses. Natural yogurts that contain no added sugars or sugar substitutes are an exception.

Alcohol products - Alcohol is the most refined form of sugar. This is true for all types of alcohol. Some hidden forms of alcohols that you will find on food labels are mannitol and sorbitol. In fact all alcohol, including spirits, act as a stimulant which triggers the release of your blood sugar stores thus making sugar for the yeasts.

Malted products - Coffee, chocolate and ovaltine. Some cereals (eg: weetabix), some crispbreads, granary bread, horlicks and caro. An additional reason why these products should be avoid is because some contain gluten. Gluten is the protein that can cause leaky gut syndrome along with yeast.

Foods Containing Gluten - These include wheat, barley, and rye and includes products made with these ingredients such as wheat bread, rye bread, and certain pastas (sel

Cured and smoked products - Bacon, meats, kippers etc.

Mushrooms - Mushrooms are fungi. Eliminate all mushrooms.

Peanuts and peanut products - Understand that this means "peanuts" not other nuts. Seeds and freshly cracked nuts are fine to eat.


Enjoy the Following Foods

FRESH VEGETABLES - all types, steamed and raw. Fresh vegetables and their juices (beware of carrot juice it contains a lot of sugar). Onions and garlic are very good. Drink fresh GREEN juice and not store bought fruit juices.

NATURAL YOGURT - low fat, natural, unflavoured. Using yogurt in this form will help repopulate the beneficial bacteria.

COTTAGE CHEESE

LEMONS - apart from avocados and tomatoes, the only other fruit allowed

SEEDS AND FRESHLY CRACKED NUTS Choose seeds such as sunflower pumpkin, flax and sesame A mix of above seeds gives balanced amounts of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty oils.

MILD SPICES Cinnamon, coriander, tumeric, cumin etc, though still avoid hot ones especially chilli (irritant). FRESH ground black pepper, but not pre-ground. Be wary - many mixed spice mixes have added sugar as one of the spices.

COLD PRESSED OILS sunflower, safflower, olive, coconut

WATER. Added lemon is refreshing.

FISH and EGGS are allowed also

WHOLE NON-Gluten GRAINS AND LEGUMES: You can have any of this food group that you like as long as you stay away from WHITE! White bread, white rice, anything with white flour. A great bread to eat is called Ezekiel bread. It is made from sprouted grains, not processed.


To Repair the Intestines

Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to. Cow's milk and milk products and wheat/gluten are the most likely here. To reduce the strain on the immune system and to allow the maximum absorption of the nutrients you are advised to combine your foods and to rotate them. A simple explanation of food combining is not to eat proteins and carbohydrates at the same meal because they are digested in different acidic environments. A rotation diet works on the principle that it takes five days for traces of a food to be removed from the body. Eating a food type only every five days means that:

the immune system has a chance to recover by not being subjected to the same allergens everyday.

when food is re-introduced after five days an adverse re-action will indicate that your body is intolerant to that substance.

Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, organic if possible to provide essential nutrients and antioxidants to repair the immune system and fibre to help repair the digestive system.

Increase fiber - One teaspoon to one tablespoon of soluble fiber containing guar gum, psyllium husks, flaxseeds or pectin can be mixed in an 8 oz glass of water two times per day on an empty stomach

To help in the regeneration of your digestive system try the following: L-glutamine with N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG), and gamma oryzanol once or twice a day between meals.

Taking digestive enzymes between meals can help break down candida by attacking its cell walls. On an empty stomach, right before bed, take a digestive supplement that contains proteases, cellulases, hemicellulases, lysozymes, amylases, lipases, invertases, malt diastases, and lactases.


Vitamins & Nutritional Supplements

Acidophilus (or Bifidus, or other ProBiotics), usually 1-2 capsules, or at least 1 million organisms, after brkfst and after supper daily, indefinitely. This and the above diet are usually enough to prevent - or prevent the return of a previous - overgrowth of candida yeast in the blood and intestines. Acidophillus controls candida by making the intestinal tract more acidic to discourage the growth of candida, and by producing hydrogen peroxide, which directly kills candida.

Caprylic Acid (700-1000 mg caps.) or Undecanoic Acid 50mg capsules. Use as directed on label.

Colloidal Silver - Use as directed on label. I have not seen any evidence of 'argyria', a permanent unsightly silver-grey discoloration of the skin that can follow prolonged intake of large-particle-size colloidal silver (as in most home-made versions). This substance was used as an antimicrobial agent before we had antibiotics, and was safe.

Enteric-coated volatile oils - Enteric-coated capsules containing oregano oil, peppermint oil, and other volatile oils can help the overgrowth of candida. It must be continued for at least several months. A standard dosage is two capsules two times a day with water, in between meals. Pure volatile oils can be quite toxic in this amount so the liquid form of these oils should never be ingested, and the capsules should not be broken open before ingesting.

Enteric-coated garlic - Garlic capsules that have been enteric-coated to open when they reach the intestines can be used in combination with the volatile oils. Once capsule two times per day taken with the enteric-coated volatile oil is a typical recommendation.

The reason candida has invaded in the first place is because your immune system has been compromised. To help your general immunity use a multivitamin and mineral package that supplies all the B vitamins and other micronutrients. In addition, take antioxidants like vitamin C, A, and zinc and selenium.


Environmental and Lifestyle

Consider talking with your physician about substitute methods of birth control if you are using oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives upset the balance of microorganisms in the body, leading to their proliferation.

Avoid alcohol and smoking. Both can impair immune function. Try to stay well-rested and get good-quality sleep.

Avoid household chemical products and cleaners, chlorinated water, mothballs, synthetic textiles, and damp moldy places such as basements.

Avoid corticosteroids.


Herbs

There are a few herbs that have been found to be beneficial against candida. These include: Pau d'arco, Uva ursi, neem leaf, olive leaf, oregon grape root, oregano leaf, berberine sulfate, and calcium undecylenate.

Homeopathic remedies are also said to be effective.




back to top




Candida and Coconut Oil

Anyone who has ever taken antibiotics, birth control pills, steriods of any form, or immunosuppresive drugs is at very high risk of having a systemic yeast infection. Some typical symptoms of systemic yeast infection are listed in the chart below.

General Fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, joint pains, depression, memory loss, irritability, and allergies.
Women Persistant vaginitis, menstrual irregularities, and recurrent bladder problems.
Men Persistant or recurrent jock itch and/or althlete's foot, prostatitis (BPH), and impotence.
Children Ear infections, hyperactivity, behavioral and learning problems.

One of the most potent yeast fighting substances is CAPRYLIC ACID, which is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) that is derived from coconut oil. It is very effective against candida and other forms of fungi. I have seen persistant month-long fungal infections clear up in a matter of days using caprylic acid and the consumption of unrefined coconut oil.

The MCFA's have antifungal properties. They will kill disease causing bacteria while leaving alone the good bacteria. They will also kill candida and other fungi in the intestinal tract.

Consuming 2 to 3 teaspoons of unrefined coconut oil will have all of these health benefits and more. You can buy supplements of Caprylic acid in the forms of Caprinex, Capricin, Mycostat, and Caprystatin.




back to top




Candida and RAW Apple Cider Vinegar

Testimonial

"The Apple cider vinegar is amazing.. I was suffering from candida overgrowth, and the General Practitioner in Sydney couldn't diagnose what's wrong with me..I was suffering with this intolerable illness for seven years. All these years I went for the frantic search for my solution on my constant migraine, constant numbness on my palm and feet, swaying backside, chronic fatigue and other negative symptom. I limit my diet, but that almost killed me, as I am losing pounds and becoming like a stick. But as soon as I apply myself with the Apple Cider Vinegar, the impact is almost instantaneous, my allergies are gone, I felt a new rush of energy, my face glow and my arthritis almost disappear miraculously."

Dose

For internal use try: 2 Tbsp of organic Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 oz of H2O, up to 3x/day (always rinse your mouth with clean water after taking vinegar). Increase amount as necessary being careful to note if heartburn caused. If heartburn, drink milk and lots of water.

For vaginal infections try: a solution of 2 Tbsps of apple cider vinegar mixed into 1 quart of lukewarm water can be used by douching twice per day. This will help restore the acid balance.




back to top