Source: National Candida Society.

 

 

Candida is controversial. The medical profession denies its existence, except in very limited cases, making it very difficult (probably impossible) to get a medical diagnosis of Candida even when an overgrowth has been confirmed by a laboratory test. Despite this situation, public awareness of Candida has continued to grow, helped no doubt by the long list of celebrities who, quite unperturbed by its lack of medical status, assert that they have had it.

Candida is the popular term for candidiasis (candida overgrowth) - a condition first identified by American physicians in the 1970s. Moderate amounts of candida live in every one of us without causing any harm, but when given free rein to grow unchecked, e.g. by wiping out the surrounding bacteria with broad-spectrum antibiotics, Candida can change into its fungal form and spore through the intestinal wall into the rest of the body. Once through, it rampages around the body producing a multitude of symptoms.

Common symptoms of Candida
There are too many symptoms to list them all here. A minority of sufferers have numerous symptoms; the vast majority have thrush + a few others; not every sufferer has thrush.

Group 1: The damage to the intestinal wall allows undesirable toxins to permeate into the bloodstream. This condition called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ often leads to:

food allergies
foggy brain
migraines
muscle aches

Group 2: Once through to the rest of the body, candida has the ability to disrupt the endocrine system causing symptoms such as:

thrush
fungal infections of the nails/skin e.g. athlete’s foot
cystitis
weight gain or weight loss
PMS
menstrual irregularities
joint pains
ear infections
asthma
chronic tiredness
hayfever
allergies
sinusitis
sensitivity to perfume, tobacco smoke and petrol

Group 3: Symptoms in the intestines include:

bloatedness
diarrhoea and/or constipation
flatulence
itchy anus

In addition, candida involvement has been implicated in some cases of other llnesses e.g. ME/CFS, Endometriosis.

Causes of Candida
The popular perception is that candida is the consequence of antibiotics usage.The medical profession dismisses this as fantasy, saying that antibiotics could not have that effect in a healthy individual. But it may be that antibiotics act as the ‘final straw’ where health has already been compromised, most probably by one or more of the following:

use of the contraceptive pill or HRT
use of natural progesterone cream
use of other steroids (hydrocortisone, beconase, prednisolone etc.)
use of immuno-suppressive drugs
repeated use of broad-spectrum antibiotics e.g. for acne
dental mercury amalgam poisoning
other heavy metal poisoning e.g. lead, cadmium
chemical poisoning from the home, garden, workplace etc.
hormonal changes e.g. puberty, pregnancy, menopause
stress - usually as a contributory factor

These factors can compromise health by disrupting the regulation of the body and can block oestrogen receptors, giving rise to high levels of progesterone. It has been known for decades that Candida flourishes in the presence of progesterone which explains why so many women get outbreaks of thrush when pre-menstrual.

Candida is not just the result of a faltering hormonal system, as it in turn aggravates the situation by binding to hormones, making them incapable of arriving at their target sites. At this point new symptoms appear, adding to the misery.

Diagnosing and treating Candida
Many ‘symptoms of candida’ are in fact symptoms of the hormonal disruption that underlies Candida - and underlies other conditions too e.g. low blood sugar.

Self-help treatment is beset with pitfalls for the unwary. Too many sufferers who 'go it alone' spend months on a highly-restrictive diet without improvement because they fail to appreciate the need to:

address the root cause of their symptoms
deal with complicating factors, and eliminate food allergies / heal their 'leaky gut' to prevent further allergies developing

For this reason, you are encouraged to seek professional help from practitioners who have expertise in:

diagnosis
interpreting test results
identifying and treating underlying causes
identifying and treating complicating factors that jeopardise recovery
tailoring treatments
monitoring progress

Further Information:

Bowel flora / gut bacteria :

Research has shown that a healthy colon is full of billions of bacteria called "intestinal bowel flora".
This flora plays an important part in digestion, production of 'natural antibiotics' which defend the body
from infection and overall health.
A food & supplement programme that addresses the health of the colon and whole digestive system
is now considered ideal by the health conscious.

Banish that bloated feeling.

An imbalance in this bowel flora (friendly bacteria) could be brought about by poor diet, use of antibiotics
or other medication, illness, lack of correct stomach acid levels, abuse of laxatives etc.

If an imbalance exists, it can hinder the proper sterilisation, digestion & breakdown of foods, thereby
causing fermentation and a host of other associated symptoms such as discomfort.

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