Thought of the Day

Friday, August 9, 2013

Candidiasis... What you need to know!


Candida Albican is a fungus that grows in your gut and normally lives symbiotically with the bacteria it cohabitates with.  Sometimes the balance changes and an overgrown of Candida can occur. It is quite easy to create an imbalance. Antibiotics have been singled out as the main culprit, although many prescription drugs (including contraceptives and corticosteroids) have shown to cause an imbalance.  High sugar intake is a huge factor in Candidiasis.  The average American consumes 30 teaspoons of added sugar every day.  Stress is also a contributor.  Stress raises the blood sugar level and suppresses the immune system, making you more vulnerable to Candidiasis. 
 
Symptoms
Candidiasis causes a wide variety of symptoms including: 
  • Fungal infections like "jock itch", tinea (Athlete's Foot),  toenail fungus, or some rashes.
  • Digestive complaints like bloating, nausea, bad breath, malabsorption of nutrients, and fatigue.
  • Thrush- either vaginal or at the back of your throat; ringworms; fungus under the fingernails or toenails;
  • Food intolerances and environmental sensitivities. 
  • White spots in the mouth; itchy anus, ears, or throat; nappy rash; excess mucous
  • Edema, feeling heavy and sluggish
  • Mental dullness, mood swings, and memory loss.

Foods to Include
 
  • Essential Fatty acids from fish, flaxseed oil, and olive oil will protect your cells from damage.
  • Garlic reduces infection.
  • Yogurt with live cultures to reduce fungal growth.
  • Eat a wholefoods diet, including fish, brown rice, fruit and veggies, and legumes, (especially mung beans) and other whole grains.
  • Complex Carbohydrates, chewed properly can be helpful, not harmful like once thought.
  • Sprouts are wonderful.
  • Seaweeds: their iodine content will deactivate yeasts.
  • Green plants like parsley, watercress, cabbage, wheatgrass, and spirulina have high amounts of chlorophyll, which promote a healthy intestinal flora.


Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar: in all forms; Candida thrives on it.
  • Yeast: Candida is yeast, adding baker's yeast just makes the problem a whole lot worse. Instead eat sourdough bread, made from spelt or kamut flour.
  • Refined carbohydrates: these usually aren’t tolerated anyway. These foods turn very quickly into sugar which Candida thrives on.
  • Fruit. One piece a day should be OK, as fruit is full of fructose (a sugar). Avoid acidic types like oranges, limes, pineapples, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes.). Dried fruits are a non-no.
  • Nuts and seed, unless freshly roasted.


Herbal Medicine

  • Pau D'arco is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial herb as well as being immune boosting. It may be drunk as a tea for maintenance.
  • Oregano Essential Oil is a potent anti-fungal.  Applied to the skin, it will burn and cause irritation.  I would advise you purchase a bottle of vegetable capsules from my DoTerra Store (also widely available at your local health food store) and add 5-10 drops in a capsule once per day.  I also suggest taking it with a single food, such as an apple or brown rice, so you reduce any reflux.  You can get Certified Pure Grade Oregano Oil on the DoTerra link on this page.
  • Citrus Seed Extract. This anti-microbial extract works in the same way as an antibiotic. It bombs everything in the gut, good and bad. You have to be quite strong and healthy to do this however, you will have no defense as the good bacterium has been bombed as well. (Try Pau Darco first.) You must be gentle on yourself during this time. No late nights, too much alcohol, going out with wet hair etc., as you will be susceptible to illness. Dose: Take 9 drops of the liquid extract a day. Again, I would drop the extract in veggie capsules before taking. This medicine is really very awful. After the two weeks is up you will probably not be feeling great in that time. 
  • Probiotics!!!  It is imperative that you follow anti-microbial and anti-fungal treatments with a bottle of acidophilus to re-establish the good gut flora.  Even if you choose to forgo the above treatments, probiotics will help to reverse the overgrowth of candida by crowding the fungus out with bacteria.  Probiotics also boost the immune system and regulate the acidity in your gut.  Yogurt and fermented foods such as Pickles, Sauerkraut, and Kefir are excellent sources of probiotics. 
  • Golden Seal will help repair inflamed intestinal lining.

Lifestyle

  • Try and stay cool. Heat and damp environments make it worse.
  • The sugars in alcohol will exacerbate the condition. Definitely avoid beer.
  • Stress really does make it worse, especially worry and anxiety.
  • Seek professional advice if you have persistent Candida. It may be a symptom of an underlying illness.
  • Check for mercury poisoning. This can lead to Candidiasis
  • Avoid overeating.
  • Reduce raw food, as these will weaken digestion.
  • Eat simply, avoiding too many flavors in one meal.
  • It is very important to re-establish good bacteria in the gut after taking antibiotics. Use miso, sauerkraut, acidophilus, sea veggies or wheat or barley grass. (Remember that animals are fed antibiotics, so if you are eating animal products, the above food should be a regular part of your diet.)
  • Exercise regularly and moderately.