Monday, April 7, 2014

Candida : A Fungus Among Us

Yeast lives in all of us.  As long as we are healthy, it's not a problem.  However, antibiotics, birth control pills, and cortisone have destroyed your secondary immune system.  Initially in an adult there is about 6-8 lbs of friendly bacteria in the lower gut. That's about 85% of our healthy immune system that we all have.  The remaining 15% is fungus or yeast.  We need the proper ratio to keep the fungus in check. 

The danger of disrupting the delicate balance in our bowels between the bacteria and fungus has led to dangerous increase of fungus in our bodies.  The progress of fungus/yeast overgrowth is now unchecked.    The average person now has the ratio of "good bacteria" to fungus reversed!  15% of good bacteria - 85% fungus!  Once fungus takes over the bowels and conquers all remaining friendly bacteria it migrates upward until filling the small intestine where digestion and assimilation of all nutrients takes place.  When the small intestine fills with fungus then are organs and glands are deprived of its building blocks and systems begin to fail.  Bad digestion and poor assimilation of vital nutrients is the result.

Candidiasis (yeast infection) is an infection caused by several species of Candida, including but not limited to, Candida Albicans and can infect the skin, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, or the vagina.  Systemic candidiasis is a condition in which Candida has spread to all areas of the body. The most severe form of systemic candidiasis occurs when the yeast travels through the blood to infect every organ of the body, causing candida septicemia, a form of blood poisoning.  This form of infection is seen most often in severely immune-compromised patients, such as those with AIDS or Cancer.

Candida albicans is a single-celled fungus that is normally present in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts.  In normal healthy individuals, these yeast are kept in balance by beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.  When the internal terrain becomes compromised, however, Candida organisms grow out of control and cause infection.  Typically, the dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance) that occurs with IBS starts with the invasion of multiple colonies of candida in the gut, followed by toxicity.  Yeast give off many toxins like zymosan which causes inflammation.

Research conducted by the University of Tennessee in Memphis found that zymosan is found to cause much of the inflammation associated with psoriasis.  Another toxin called arabinitol is known to produce toxic effects on the brain, nervous system and immune in animal studies.  Numerous other toxins produced by yeasts may explain the memory retention, feeling "drunk", hormone disturbances, fatigue and depression experienced by so many with yeast problems. 

It is worth noting that over 90% of a healthy population is "allergic" to candida.  How can that be if it normally resides in the body?  The delayed hypersensitivity (Type 4 allergy) response by the immune system is what helps the body control yeast overgrowth.  This is a normal and protective response to yeast but sometimes it gets out of hand.  As an immediate hypersensitivity response to candida (Type 1 allergy), which is found in approximately 10% of the population, can cause hives, asthma, chronic vaginitis, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.  In these cases, immunotherapy with sublingual drops of varying levels of attenuated candida extracts successfully neutralizes the immune response, abating the hypersensitivity.

Other abnormal or unusual allergic reactions to yeast may trigger autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, or celiac disease.  A recent study published in the Lancet showed candida contains a protein called HWP-1,which is similar in the structure to gluten.   A candida infection in the gut can cause an immune reaction to HWP-1, which then stimulates  an allergic reaction to the gluten in wheat an other grains and may trigger celiac disease in genetically-susceptible people.  Under these circumstances, a gluten free diet alone may not do the trick in relieving symptoms in a patient with celiac disease.

Wiping out yeast overgrowth in the gut requires starvation (of the yeast, not the patient) and elimination with a yeast-free, sugar-free diet and antifungal supplements.  During this detoxification period, re-inoculation of the gut with healthy probiotics is critical.  Dysbiosis caused by candida overgrowth warrants the consistent use of these probiotics so that bacterial balance may be re-established and healthy gut ecology maintained.

Candida overgrowth is most commonly seen in those with weakened immunity or digestive conditions.  Candida infections are also commonly seen in babies who have had it passed on from the mother.  Pregnancy, use of corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapies, antibiotics, heavy metal toxicity, and food allergies can lead to the development of Candida infections. 

While both sexes with yeast overgrowth may share conditions such as sinusitis, asthma, joint pain, several conditions are exclusive to women, particularly those between the ages of 20 to 55.

Some Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth are :

Short term memory loss, persistent drowsiness, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, mood swings, dizziness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, ear sensitivity/ringing/itching or fluid in the ears, blurred vision, rashes, mucous in the stools, diarrhea/constipation or both, post nasal drip, frequent colds, (recurring strep throat, sinusitis or  bronchitis ), heartburn, nasal itch, and or congestion, nervous irritability, tightness of the chest, dry mouth or throat.

Because of belching, bloating, flatulence or indigestion, we develop bad breath, cold hands or feet, thyroid problems, depression, anemia & sugar disorders.  Some of the above are usually worse on damp days.

Some Disorders That Usually are Accompanied by Candida Overgrowth

Irritable bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Chronic Fatigue, Epstein-Barr virus, Pneumonia, Lupus, most Acid Reflux & Hiatal hernia, PMS, Recurrent vaginal yeast infections, Recurrent urinary tract infections, Endometriosis, infertility.

Lack of progesterone in women is often the result of Candida Overgrowth converting their progesterone into prednisone.

Other conditions common to both sexes and children that may be yeast related include :

Eczema, psoriasis, hives,  migraines, acne, colitis, IBS, GERD, chronic ear infections, Crohns disease, prostatitis, multiple sclerosis,  ADHD, autism, allergies.

You May Have Fungus/Yeast Overgrowth if you :

* Bloat when you eat?
* Form gas when you eat?
* Have cold hands or feet?
* Have acid reflux?
* Have brain fog?
* Have an itchy nose?
* Ear sensitivity/ringing/itching/fluid in the ears?
* Suffer from fatigue for no reason?
* Have a dry mouth?
* Have vision that gets blurry then clear then blurry?

Are You :

* Hypoglycemic? ( shaky if meals missed, sleepy after a meal, sweat during sleep)
* Prone to constipation or diarrhea or both?
* Hypothyroid? (cold hands or feet)
* Borderline anemic?
* Headaches, depression, or painful periods?

Food that Feed Candida

All sweets, candies, chocolate, etc. Also, all high glycemic foods like alcoholic beverages, white rice, bread, corn(including pop corn), white potatoes, pasta, carrot juice, apples, bananas, grapes, vinegar. Also, most dairy especially cheese,  including Whey protein, then peanuts and cashews because they are fungal themselves.  Remember that all grains and beans feed fungus.

Do you crave any of these foods?  Remember to follow the clues.  What is the main food of fungus?  Sugar!  What is the craving of a person who suffer from hypoglycemia?  Sugar!  What is diabetes linked to?  Sugar! What is the primary food of cancer?  Sugar!

Contact Karen Johnson at : for more information on how to clear your candida and fungus.

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