What is Candida?
Many of us have heard the terms, “yeast infection” or “fungal infection” and many of us have suffered the undesirable symptoms attached, but, many of us don’t fully understand what causes them and why. Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungus (or yeast) that is found naturally in colonies within our mouth, intestines, the vagina, our skin and other mucus membranes.
This typically harmless microscopic organism aids with nutrient absorption and digestion and lives peacefully when our bodies are functioning at an optimal .. . However, if your inner ecosystem becomes unbalanced and your immunity weakens, you may be susceptible to a yeast overgrowth, which leads to a very unpleasant “fungal (or yeast) infection”, aka Candida.
What are the symptoms?
Many people who suffer from Candida have a very convincing pokerface. The healthiest-looking sick person in the room, a candida sufferer will often appear to look in tip-top condition on the outside but are totally unaware that a serious infection lies deep within. The symptoms of Candida often mimic other illnesses, so it can be difficult to diagnose without testing. This yeast infection will often present itself in different ways, in different people but the most common symptoms are: Bad breath Bloating, belching, intestinal gas, and/or abdominal pain Constipation or diarrhea Sinus infection Fatigue and chronic fatigue Frequent mood swings Hormonal imbalance Insomnia Loss of sexual desire or feeling Muscle aches and weakness Pain and/or swelling in joints Poor memory or brain fog Oral thrush Recurrent, troublesome vaginal itching, burning, or discharge and UTI infections When you body’s natural pH balance is disrupted, the candida can grow out of control and migrate to other areas of the body, including the blood and membranes around the heart or brain. In the digestive tract, left unchecked, it breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates into the bloodstream. This releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system and can lead to leaky gut syndrome.
What’s the cause?
A single-cell organism, Candida reproduces asexually and thrives on some of the body's byproducts such as dead tissue and sugars from food. Unless its environment is altered and its source of food is eliminated, it quickly monopolizes entire body systems, resulting in those unwanted symptoms listed above. In a perfect world, the good bacteria present in our gut would keep Candida overgrowth under control and this type of infection wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately we have been exposed to many unhealthy lifestyle constituents that are damaging our valuable gut flora and consequently contributing to the increase of serious fungal infections.
These include: Antibiotics Poor food quality Overconsumption of sugar and processed, refined foods Overconsumption of alcohol and coffee Chronic, prolonged stress Birth Control Pills Mercury exposure from dental fillings, vaccines, & tattoos. Many of these factors relate to weakened immunity and adrenals, depleted mineral levels that are important to maintain a slightly alkaline blood environment and reduced microflora.
Candida and Autism
According to studies, roughly 75 percent of women will get a vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime. But in fact, these are merely "symptoms" of an infection that is actually present in her bloodstream and If she should become pregnant, her unborn baby may also be at risk. More of us should be concerned that an entire generation of young women who are of childbearing age are uneducated on the causes of Candida and of its potential impact on their children. Few women are taught that when they become pregnant their immune system will be naturally suppressed. This is nature's way of ensuring that the mother's own immune system will not attack her baby. Furthermore, progesterone levels rise during pregnancy, which is natural and very good because this hormone is essential for retaining the fetus. However, along with elevated progesterone, blood sugar also increases. Both blood sugar and progesterone play an important role in your developing baby's brain, yet this increased blood sugar (along with ever-increasing stress and a diet of sugary, processed foods) sets the stage for a systemic yeast infection to become even more acute. Fungal (or yeast) infections have long been associated with the development of autism in the womb when the fetus becomes exposed to the fungus. Various research has shown that autistic children have a significantly reduced healthy gut flora than that of non-autistic children and are often far more susceptible to nutritional deficiencies, behavioral problems and inflammation because of certain genetic vulnerabilities. With 67 children being diagnosed each day, more and more children are at risk for being on the autism spectrum because the severity of Candida is not being communicated. Some women who never have vaginal infections believe they are free of the problem when indeed they will have differing symptoms manifesting in other ways.
How to prevent Candida
Few doctors will explain that antibiotics, a high sugar diet, stress and drugs like cortisone will destroy your inner ecosystem cost you about 80% of your immunity. Indeed you will soon be back for that next course of antibiotics and drugs! The good news is, these yeast infections are easily treatable without the use of antibiotics or prescription drugs.
- Candida Cleanse
The Candida Cleanse is the ultimate solution to kick start your Candida cure. With this cleanse, there are two options to choose from; a liquid only diet (1-2 days), this involves a simple homemade broth made from organic vegetables including onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and water that you sip throughout the day, along with plenty of additional water. The second option is to eat only raw salads and organic steamed vegetables for 3-5 days, again with plenty of additional water to expel those toxins from your body
- The Candida Diet
The next stage is to adopt a diet that will not only discourage the Candida, but rid your body of it entirely. With Thanksgiving and Halloween safely behind us, the first step is to break up with sugar and that includes refined carbohydrates and alcohol. Yeast feeds on sugar and the more you feed something, the bigger it grows. Eliminating sugar from your diet is the key to fighting Candida. It will starve the Candida of its energy to build its cell walls, expand its colonies and switch into a more virulent, fungal form and in turn, will give your immune system a head start. You must now replace these foods with plenty of vegetables, high-quality protein foods, and gluten-free grains like brown rice and millet. Avoid fruit at this time, especially high fructose fruit such as bananas and oranges because even though fruit is very healthy, it does get turned into sugar by the body. You also want to avoid these somewhat sweet, starchy varieties of vegetables: potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, peas and parsnips. These vegetables are banned from a strict anti-candida diet because of their high carbohydrate content, but they’re certainly nutrient-dense and can be reintroduced later on. The length of this diet really depends on the individual and the severity of the candida. As your symptoms begin to subside, you can slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet. Remember that going back to your old habits will likely cause the Candida to come back again so it is important to reintroduce these foods one at a time and monitor your symptoms closely.
- Re-build your Gut Flora
It is now time to focus on rebuilding your good bacteria. You need an army of microflora to re-establish balance, repair the mucosal lining, and rebuild hydrochloric acid. All of these components are necessary for lasting positive health changes and to be sure the Candida does not return. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi are naturally loaded with microflora that help to protect the intestines. Both can be a great addition to any meal or a quick healthy snack and regular consumption can help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida. The best way to boost your chances of avoiding yeast overgrowth, is to alter your diet and use supplements that support your body in its anti-Candida efforts. Taking supplemental probiotics
in order to maintain the health of the digestive tract is crucial in helping rid the body of Candida. Probiotic supplements
help restore optimal digestive health, and are one of the first things required in order to bring back a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria. There are over 500 different types of bacteria in the digestive system. The two most prevalent in the vagina and urinary tract are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei. For women suffering with Candida, we suggest Ultimate Flora VS
from Renew Life
, which contains therapeutic levels of these bacteria. 9 strains of probiotics were chosen for the Ultimate Flora VS
to mirror their prevalence in the healthy vagina and urinary tract. Another very effective cleansing program from Renew Life
is their CandiZYME
; a scientifically formulated multi enzyme product that helps to destroy the natural defense of the yeast cell; its hard protective outer coating. It works to break down nutrients (such as sugars and carbohydrates) that feed Candida and yeast cells. This ensures that the yeast organism is weakened and can be more easily destroyed further by the anti-fungals contained in Renew Life CandiGONE Kit
. This candida cleansing program is a 15 day herbal program for those suffering from Candida yeast overgrowth. It contains many herbs that help in digestion and also relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections.