Candida has been a popular word that a lot of people in the natural health industry use, but information behind what it is and how you can battle it can be dicey at the best of times. To make matters more confusing, it can start to seem like a catch-all recommendation from health care practitioners for just about anyone. So how can you reconcile what candida is and whether or not you need to do anything about it ? In this article, we will discuss candida as a disease, causes of it, and finally, prevention and natural treatment.
What is Candida?
Candida is a form of yeast that causes fungal infections. The most prominent form of it is known as Candida Albicans and it can cause everything from oral thrush to vaginitis and even other, more life-threatening, complications in immuno-compromised individuals.
These types of yeasts are naturally found on the human body; however, their growth is mostly inhibited by the natural function and curbing of your immune system. There is also growing evidence that candida levels are exacerbated by antibiotic consumption which doesn't differentiate between types of bacteria, killing off the beneficial bacteria in your system that would otherwise displace candida from receptor sites in the gut. With nothing left to contend with in an organism that has used antibiotics, candida is free to grow wild and take over.
Signs of Candida Overgrowth.
There are many signs of candida overgrowth that can go unnoticed or undetected because they lack a cohesiveness with one another and seem unrelated. Pretty good indications that you have a yeast issue include any or all of the following :
- Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)
- Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
- Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
- Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
- Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
- Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
Candida natural treatment - How do I get rid of it?
Unfortunately, yeasts are very stubborn and candida is no exception. However, there are a few general lifestyle changes that can be made to rid your body of this unwanted intruder.
Increase the integrity of your intestinal wall. Besides being a tongue twister, this is one of the most important things you can do to reverse candida overgrowth and insure that the negative waste products that candida produces don't make their way into your system causing greater harm. There are ingredients that can actually help regenerate the wall and guard against “leaky gut syndrome”. This is extremely common in yeast infections and should be taken care of to insure that the normally leak-proof lining of our intestinal wall is kept resilient.
Luckily, an excellent product created just for the purpose of fortifying this layer is called RevitalX by Natural Factors. It was designed to rest, heal and rejuvenate the gut after occasions where the digestive system has been stressed or abused. It contains a highly digestible, low allergy protein called Gold Peptides from non-GMO golden pea protein. It also includes glutamine (a regulator of nitrogen metabolism and protector of the cellular wall), N-acetyl-glucosamine (a thinner and modulator of excessive gastrointestinal mucus), pantothenic acid and quercetin (anti-histaminic, anti-allergic), gently detoxifying antioxidants (including Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, grapeseed extract and milk thistle), the ever-needed water soluble fiber, lecithin (which supplies lipids for healing damaged membranes) and zinc (for healing damaged digestive tissue, modulating enzyme activity and immune function, and controlling diarrhea).
Starve the yeast.
Diet modifications that stifle them and serve you include eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods that are additionally high in fiber to encourage proper elimination. One of the biggest dangers with improper yeast cleansing is that not enough attention is paid to having proper bowel movements and insuring that peristalsis continues uninhibited. The following is a list of things to avoid: • Alcohol • Caffeine • Fermented foods • Gluten-containing grains • Milk and dairy products • Sugar
Yeasts feeds off sugar like nobody’s business so do yourself (and your pancreas) a favour, and cut it out! It also suppresses the immune system which is trying so hard to attack these buggers in the first place.
Kill the Yeast.
1.) Oregano Oil: This all-purpose natural antibiotic, antiviral, antimicrobial healer has been recognized for its multiple facets in preventing colds, flus, upper respiratory infections, allergic reactions, candida overgrowth and so on. An overgrowth of this stubborn yeast often goes hand in hand with a parasite infection and so keeping Candida levels down can really enhance the health of your GI tract and the killing capacity of other substances you take. Of 12 essential oils tested in a variety of studies (Original Internist, Sept. 2005) it was found that oregano oil was proven again and again to be the most effective against not only Candida but most other pathogenic bacteria that exacerbate the proliferation of parasites.
2.) Digestive Enzymes with Betaine HCL: This might seem like the odd one to include in this list, but it
is an absolute necessity for the simple fact that yeast has a hard time thriving when normal levels of enzymes and stomach acid are present. These tools are our bodies’ natural mechanisms to prevent parasite infection against those found in food and water. Why are we so deficient you may ask? This is because of the proliferation of cooked foods in our diet (which lack the natural enzymes required to break them down), excessive stress levels (release of stomach acid is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system – when we are stressed, this function fails), and improper food combining (putting certain foods in our stomach at the same time can cause the neutralization of digestive juices). Taking a quality enzyme formula with Betaine HCL, like Opti-Digestaway, can help optimize digestion, help you get the most out of your food and cleansing regime, and can prevent future infections. CAUTION: Do not consume products containing Betaine HCL if you have a peptic ulcer. Please consult with a qualified health care practitioner before taking this product.
Caprylic acid. Caprylic acid is an eight-carbon fatty acid naturally found in palm and coconut oil, and in the milk of humans and bovines (cows). Caprylic acid is classified as a medium-chain fatty acid and chemically known as octanoic acid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved caprylic acid with generally recognizable as safe (GRAS) status. Nutritionists often recommend caprylic acid for use in treating candidiasis and bacterial infections because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial effects.
Other fabulous anti-candida herbs or supplements include garlic, wormwood, and ginger.
Replenish your system. During the course of your cleanse and after you are done, it is best to continually supplement with a high quality probiotic. Not only do probiotics replenish your natural levels of healthy intestinal flora, they also help to increase the length and integrity of your intestinal villi and that all important barrier wall, and to displace Candida and parasite eggs from intestinal receptor sites. In general, probiotics also help to buttress your immune system, helping you fight off the critters that so desperately want to take you over! To synopsize, it was established in a well-published study out of the University of Turku in Finland that “among the possible mechanisms of probiotic therapy is promotion of nonimmunologic gut defense barrier…including the normalization of increased intestinal permeability and altered gut microecology…[as well as] improvement of the intestine’s immunologic barrier, particularly through intestinal immunoglobulin A responses and the alleviation of intestinal inflammatory responses.” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001, Feb; 73(2); pp 444-450)
Though candida can take a long time to conquer, patience and diligence go a long way to maintaining the vital health and longevity of your body by quelling yeast overgrowths for years to come. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.