Candida is a type of yeast that’s not like the ones we associate with cooking bread or with the fermentation of wine or beer. Candida organisms thrive all over our environment. They can be found in beverages such as fruit juices, beer, and wine, in foods such as cheese and bread, in our libraries, books, bathrooms and other warm moist rooms, and in our air. But these organisms, most importantly use our bodies as their homes. They live on our nails and skin, in our mucous membranes and in our digestive tracts in great abundance.
While there are very many different kinds of yeasts, it is the Candida family, in particular, the Candida Albicans that causes the greatest harm to the human body. Candida Albicans is the type of yeast that most commonly causes infections, since it is the strain of yeast that’s the most infectious. It grows quickly and rapidly makes the mucus membranes its home.
Virtually every person’s body has been colonized with yeast at birth, occurring as we pass through the birth canal. Candida is benign under normal circumstances and its growth is kept in check by the “good” bacteria in the intestinal tract. The benevolent bacterial flora called Lactobacilli Acidophilus slows down the development of Candida and other harmful microorganisms.
When there is excessive growth of yeast or candida in body, the yeast can transform from yeast to a mycelial form, possessing root-like growths. These mycelial yeasts can penetrate the intestinal lining while searching for food, and enter the bloodstream where they dump toxic waste products from their growth. And because of the damage they do to the intestinal lining, they enable the entrance of other toxins that can include ammonia, alcohols, and undigested proteins from the bowel into the bloodstream. Those toxins can wreak serious havoc in practically any system of the body. Both genders and people of all ages can be affected by candidiasis. Because of the hormonal changes that women undergo and because their reproductive tract is susceptible to candida overgrowth, they tend to suffer from candidiasis symptoms more than men, although men are not spared of the overdevelopment of these fungi.
Candidiasis can bring about a wide variety of symptoms due to the fact that the fungus and the toxins it carries can have a substantial adverse impact on almost any part of the body. The parts of the body that seems to be affected first by the yeast overdevelopment growth are the urogenital and gastrointestinal tracts. It is quite frequent for a person infected with candidiasis to suffer from prostatitis, kidney infections, vaginal yeast infections, chronic bladder infections, difficulty in digesting food, severe diarrhea and/or constipation, flatulence, gastritis, colitis, heartburn, bloating and stomach pain.
Candida patients may frequently experience gas and during intercourse, vaginal or yeast infection.
Candidiasis sufferers often experience allergy symptoms as ammonias, alcohols, and undigested proteins as well as the waste products of the toxins and yeast travel through the bloodstream. These symptoms may come in the form of chemical and food sensitivities, acne, muscle aches, anxiety, rapid pulse, dizziness, headaches, psoriasis, eczema, coughs, asthma, hives, chronic ear infections sinusitis, and hay fever. Candidiasis in children can bring about hyperactivity. People sensitive to chemicals may suffer from symptoms when they’re around various chemical products like laundry detergents, household cleaners, furniture polish, cigarette smoke, gas fumes, pesticides, hair spray, colognes, perfumes, etc. as well as allergies to several kinds of foods. And as time goes by, one experiences more and more symptoms that seem to become severe over time, due to their body’s reaction to an increasing amount of stimuli. Eventually, they become imprisoned by their allergies.
The yeast overgrowth can eventually affect the central nervous system and when this happens, the person may experience tingling and numbing of the extremities, joint stiffness and pain, low libido, weakening of mental faculties, irritability, and fatigue. Candidiasis may likewise cause or worsen the malfunction of certain organs and glands. It is a major contributor of disorders in the adrenal and thyroid glands and can play a huge role in miscarriages, infertility, endometriosis, depression, PMS, menstrual cramps, menstrual irregularities, hypoglycemia, and diabetes.
Women between the ages of 20 to 45 tend to be affected the most by Candidiasis. They can suffer from vaginal discharge and burning and chronic vaginal itching. A common standard treatment for their problem is a vaginal suppository to alleviate the symptoms. More often than not however, this approach never cures the underlying problem actually causing the symptoms to frequently recur. A lot of people with candidiasis suffer from chronic urinary infections that are addressed with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Once again, these methods often do not work well. For those suffering from bouts of constipation, gas, and stomach bloating, laxatives are the usual modes of treatment.
People suffering from a diverse combination of Candidiasis symptoms usually consult with more than one doctor or specialist. They may seek help from gastroenterologists, neurologists, endocrinologists, allergists, and even psychiatrists. These medical professionals usually just advise them to take it easy for a while. Eventually, the sufferer becomes convinced that he/she is just being a hypochondriac and that the condition is all in his/her mind.
Several predisposing factors can play a role in the occurrence of Candidiasis. Candida fungi have been seen to increase very rapidly when the immune system of the body is weak. Factors that can weaken the immune system and trigger the multiplication of yeast include exposure to chemicals; diets high in mold derivatives, yeast, and carbohydrates; pregnancy; steroids such as cortisone; birth control pills; antibiotics; multiple surgeries; and chemotherapy. Besides the over the counter and prescription medications and antibiotics, our immune system can also be weakened by the hormones and antibiotics that is injected into the poultry and meat products that we eat. Also, when through the food we eat, we are exposed to the incredible number of chemicals such as preservatives, dyes, and pesticides that is contained in our food, our bodies tend to weaken and become an ideal breeding ground for candida.
Candidiasis has also been seen to simultaneously develop along with chronic viral infections such as the Cytomegalovirus and the Epstein Barr Virus. This is proof of an immune system that’s so weakened by these viruses that it has no means to resist the overgrowth of yeast. Also, in certain instances, it seems that when you have Candidiasis you are at risk of developing chronic viral infection since the overgrowth of candida can significantly weaken your immunity.
If you seriously want your candidiasis addressed, it is important that you consult with a practitioner who has years of experience in treating this condition, since diagnosing and treating it entails an adequate amount of experience and knowledge. Nowadays, there are specific stool cultures and blood tests that can help determine if you suffer from Candidiasis. When diagnosing this condition, it is extremely important to know the history of predisposing factors, i.e., use of steroids, birth control pills, antibiotics, etc. Also essential to the diagnosis are the symptoms the sufferer is experiencing. If, for example, a woman complains of chronic vaginal infections, stomach bloating and pain, and severe chemical and food sensitivities, chances are high the she has Candidiasis.
Certainly, the strengthening of the immune system is a very important factor in the treatment of Candidiasis. To ascertain where the deficiencies are blood tests need to be taken. A lot of Candida patients are also deficient in folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc. Other important vitamins used to resolve the condition include vitamins A & C as well as essential fatty acids like fish oil and primrose oil. Adrenal and thyroid function need to be tested as well. A lot of Candidiasis sufferers are also hypothyroid and/or hypoglycemic. Furthermore, they are often afflicted with parasitic infections. Along with the treatment of Candidiasis all these issues need to be also addressed.
Also important to the resolution of Candidiasis are changes to the patient’s diet. Foods derived from yeast, foods containing vinegar, smoked and fermented foods, dairy products, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugar should be replaced or at least reduced. Foods that can help with the treatment of candidiasis include complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and foods that do not encourage yeast growth.
Yeast can be killed through a wide assortment of natural products that don’t have any side effects like the ones associated with western medical treatments. For individuals who can tolerate them, products containing grapefruit seed extract, berberine sulfate, undecylenic acid, and caprylic acid can be quite potent. Also effective are herbal preparations with antifungal properties that contain white oak bark, phellodendron, coptis, astralagus, clove, pau d’arco, garlic, uva ursi, goldenseal, and oregano oil. It’s also very important for the beneficial intestinal flora such as Bifido Bacterium and Lactobacilli Acidophilus to recolonize the gut and intestines. There are a multitude of products now available that can substitute the “friendly” flora that are able to reach deeper into the intestines’ mucus membranes.
Acupuncturists and other Chinese medicine practitioners view Candidiasis as mainly caused by a pattern of Spleen Deficiency combined with dampness resulting in symptoms such as cold extremities and chilliness, fatigue, foggy thinking (heavy sensation in the head), heavy limbs, constipation or diarrhea, stomach bloating and gas, and poor appetite. Oftentimes, a liver component is also involved, i.e., stagnation of Liver Qi leading to heartburn, menstrual cramps, stomach pain, depression, mood swings, etc. and Heat in the Liver manifesting as irritability, constipation, insomnia, PMS, and migraines. And finally, we also have Kidney Deficiency (that is often present when chronic illness is involved), causing the symptoms of poor memory, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vision problems, dizziness, edema, infertility, and frequent urination.
In the treatment of candidiasis, acupuncture in Vancouver can be a very ideal approach since it can dispel Liver Heat and Spleen Dampness as well as beef up the kidneys and spleen. It is also extremely useful for strengthening the immune system which is very important when treating a person with Candidiasis. When combined with the use of the right antifungal products and dietary guidelines, acupuncture can be a very effective treatment for completely resolving Candidiasis.