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Natural and Holistic Ways to Beat Candida
- Candida is the most common form of yeast infection found in the human body, and it can be responsible for a range of health problems. Unfortunately, Candida funguses are becoming increasingly resistant to prescription and over-the-counter drugs – making natural solutions more essential.
- The symptoms of Candida can range all the way from brain fog, to mood disorders and hormonal imbalance. What’s more, the causes of Candida are just as varied, but can sometimes be linked to excessive use of antibiotics and poor immune systems.
- Holistic and natural options for fighting back against Candida involve processes which starve the yeast by removing dietary options that promote Candida growth, while encouraging the positive repopulation of the gut.
- Fecal transplants are also emerging as an effective option for those who frequently suffer from problems relating to the healthy and unhealthy balance of microbes in their intestines.
Despite being a small single-celled organism – it’s fair to say that Candida can cause some huge problems in the human body. While this fungus can exist naturally and harmlessly within the intestines, mouth, eyes, and genitals – overgrowths can occur. The result can completely offset the body’s natural balance of microorganisms.
The resulting infections can include diaper rash, oral thrush, and vaginal yeast infections, which are both unpleasant and uncomfortable. However, if Candida makes its way into the bloodstream, a rare and life-threatening condition known as invasive candidiasis can occur – leading to fatal results.
The problem is that Candida funguses are becoming so resistant to over-the-counter and prescription drugs at a pharmaceutical level, that most natural health experts consider the natural treatment of the issue to be so much more effective. In addition to becoming less successful, antifungal drugs can even have negative side effects during treatment, such as liver toxicity.
Understanding Candida (what is it?)
So what exactly is Candida? Simply put – it’s the most common type of yeast infection currently found within the human body, and it may affect a range of different systems. If the immune system is properly functioning at it’s optimum level, this form of infection is not often serious, however, if the immune system doesn’t function as it should, the candida infection can sometimes migrate into other areas of the body, including the membranes around the brain or heart.
In healthy circumstances, Candida is simply a fungus that assists with the absorption and digestion of nutrients. However, when it overproduces, typical symptoms of Candida can begin to appear. When the natural pH balance of the body becomes upset, candida can quickly grow out of control – leading to systematic problems. This is why a healthy immune system and good bacteria are essential to fighting this infection.
Symptoms of Candida
Do you have wrinkles on the bridge of your nose when you aren’t furrowing your eyebrows? This could easily be caused by Candida or SIBO because it shows that your pancreas is being forced to work harder than it should be. The symptoms of Candida are so wide ranging that they can sometimes be difficult to identify during the early stages – even for a trained physician. The infection presents itself in a number of different ways for different people, but following are a list of some of the things you should look out for if you are worried that you have a problem with Candida.
1. Chronic Fatigue
If you suffer with Chronic Fatigue or a sense of exhaustion that is impossible to shake regardless of how much sleep you get, this could be a sign that you’re suffering from Candida. Though Candida is not the only cause of chronic fatigue, many physicians suggest that it heightens your risk of CFS.
2. Mood Disorders
One of the reasons why Candida is so difficult to diagnose is that the symptoms can be similar to other conditions, including mood disorders. Individuals with this condition may experience anxiety, dramatic mood swings, irritability, panic attacks and depression.
3. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a form of yeast infection caused by the same Candida that affects other membranes for mucous – particularly in the vagina. Commonly caused by the use prednisone or other corticosteroids, it can spread throughout the body when left untreated.
4. Recurring Urinary Tract/Vaginal infections
When a person begins to suffer from recurring infections in their vagina or urinary tract, this may be a sign that Candida is the root of the problem. Candida can be sexually transmitted and partners may spread it back and forth.
5. Intestinal Distress
Ongoing distress is a sign that you are suffering from a Candida infection. Burping, bloating, diarrhea and constipation mixed with stomach cramps may all be a signal that you don’t have enough healthy bacteria within your digestive tract.
6. Sinus Infections
Sinus infections as a result of Candida problems are common in today’s medical world, and it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause when people come to doctors with sinus problems. If you experience consistent sinus problems, it’s worth checking for a candida infection.
7. Brain Fog
Alongside chronic fatigue and mood changes, brain fog can be overlooked as a sign of Candida. Candida overgrowth however, can easily lead to a lack of focus, poor coordination and difficulty concentrating on tasks.
8. Fungal and Nail infections
Fungus in the toenail and athlete’s foot are both common forms of yeast infection which stem from the same type of Candida, a continued case of infections may be a sign that you have a systematic Candida problem.
9. Hormonal Imbalance
Finally, hormonal imbalance is one of the signs of Candida that can present in many other health conditions. However, it’s crucial to recognize how infections can cause PMS, early menopause, low sex drives, endometriosis, migraines, mood swings, and water retention. One of the byproducts of Candida can actually mimic estrogen, leading to serious imbalances in hormones.
Causes of Candida
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single cause of Candida, as anything that disturbs the typical balance of micro-organisms in your system can put you at risk of overgrowth and the consequential problems that occur as a result. For instance, heavy metal toxicity – particularly that obtained from overexposure to mercury can create an environment that’s perfect for Candida to thrive in. This is why if heavy metal toxicity exists in a person with Candida, the treatment must focus on detoxing in order to eliminate the problem. Also removing sugars, cereals, pastas, and breads which all feed candida, and looking towards a diet that starves the underlying issue.
Other common causes of Candida are the excessive use of antibiotics and steroids. Emotional and environmental factors are also causes – while being overweight can increase susceptibility. Yet, primarily, the main cause of Candida issues seems to be a weakened immune system, with experts estimating that around 90% of all people with HIV/AIDS will eventually develop an infection. Following, we’ll address some of the potential causes of Candida.
Birth Control Pills
As we mentioned above, the overuse of antibiotics can mean that the good bacteria in your gut, as well as the bad bacteria is killed off, leading to problems with keeping Candida under control. Unlike antibiotics, birth control pills are not directly responsible for candida overgrowth system. However, when they are taken alongside a diet that contains many high sugars, and a course of antibiotics, birth control pills can adversely affect the body, leading to a Candida infection.
People who treat asthma conditions with corticosteroid inhalants are generally more at risk of developing Candida problems in the mouth, leading to systematic overgrowth. It’s crucial, therefore, that individuals using corticosteroid inhalers for an extended period of time, swish the mouth with clove oil and coconut oil when candidiasis is detected.
According to the Clinical Research department in Merck, it is possible for Candidiasis to have a greater chance of becoming invasive within patients with cancer. The study discovered that one third of the patients being treated for cancer had invasive candidiasis, as although radiation and chemotherapy can both kill tumors and cancerous cells, they can also kill off the healthy bacteria responsible for fighting Candida.
Individuals with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may both be exposed to Candida problems because sugar levels in the mouth and various other mucus membranes are generally higher than in individuals without diabetes. Because Candida is a form of yeast, which feeds on sugar, it’s understandable that those with diabetes are often more at risk.
Weakened Immune systems
Finally, any person with a weakened immune system is generally more likely to develop Candida. This population can include small children, the elderly, people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other people with autoimmune conditions.
Natural and Holistic Treatment Options: (Starving the Yeast)
There are many natural ways to fight back against the problems associated with Candida overgrowth. One of the first options is to start by starving the yeast itself – something that is done with careful dieting, exercise, and detoxification measures. First of all, make sure that you cut sugars out of your foods entirely – as sugars are often responsible for feeding Candida. This means that you can’t eat any fruit during the first two weeks of your treatment, and after that, you’ll need to make low-glycemic choices. At the same time, you’ll need to avoid milk, which contains the sugar “lactose” known for promoting the overgrowth of Candida. Remove any foods that you’re sensitive to from your diet too, as if you don’t have to worry about your gut recovering from detrimental foods, you’ll know that your gastrointestinal tract is better prepared to repair itself.
Cleansing your gut with the right foods will help to rid you of excess Candida through flushing the digestive tract. While you’re doing this, you can also start thinking about the way that you’ll adjust to the new Candida diet you can go on to repair your gut. This often means choosing fermented vegetables and kefir. While you’re cleansing, continue to drink as much pure water as you can to help flush the by-products of Candida, and the Candida itself from your system. During this time eating salads made up of leafy grains (such as romaine), and topping them with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil is a great choice. Stay away from any starchy vegetables such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, white potatoes, and more, which might feed the Candida.
Adapting to the Candida Diet
When it comes to changing up your diet, not only to rid your system of Candida, but to promote the healthy repopulation of the gut, it’s worth considering a balanced diet that is rich in chicken, eggs, meats, nuts, and seeds, as well as vegetables and healthy oils. While you’re doing this, avoid sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods that can restrict the amount of fuel that the yeast in your gut can access.
Although it’s important to avoid the natural sugars that are found in fruits, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for supplemental forms of some of the ingredients that fruits may be able to offer you. For instance, Resveratrol – a polyphenol found in the skin of darker grapes that is produced naturally when the plant is under attack from bacteria, can destroy Candida albicans by activating the p53 gene. This substance reacts with free radicals in order to produce a more stable molecule that is less toxic than the radical substance. Since the prime function of resveratrol in nature is to protect the grape against pathogens, it makes sense that it would exhibit amazing anti-fungal activities within the human body.
Another substance worth considering is Molybdenum – which helps to detoxify the neurotoxin known as “aldehyde”, which comes as a result of Candida die-off. The Candida yeast in the body lives on the sugars in your gut. When it processes these sugars, one of the byproducts released is a neurotoxin known as acetaldehyde. This is just one of the many toxins that Candida can be responsible for – and there’s actually a total of 79 different toxins that your body can be exposed to during overgrowth conditions. Acetaldehyde has a number of damaging effects on your wellbeing and health, and can even be responsible for impairing brain function or killing brain cells in people with Candida overgrowth.
What makes the issue worse is the fact that Acetaldehyde stays inside of your body once it has been introduced. It cannot be excreted like other toxins. However, Molybdenum can help the situation by converting the acetaldehyde into a substance known as “acetic acid”, which can be easily excreted from the body just like any other toxin. A study that was published about molybdenum in the Digest of Chiropractic Economics found that the addition of molybdenum, which was based on aldehyde olfactory sensitivity muscle testing, had led to huge turnarounds in some of the most significantly affected Candida albican patients. People exposed to molybdenum in the study had been able to get rid of some of the achy and sluggish symptoms often compared with the flu which many Candida patients often complain of. Their energy levels had returned, and achiness within the musculoskeletal system had improved.
Besides simply eating the right foods when fighting back against Candida problems, it’s important for patients who want to recover quickly and effectively from the condition to place significant focus on getting plenty of probiotic (good bacteria) into their system – either by eating fermented and cultured foods, or consuming supplements. Placing good bugs in the gut will help to crowd out the bad ones, and saccharomyces boulardii can be particularly effective in this regard. Probiotics are also useful for promoting proper and regular bowel movements. If you’re not visiting the toilet and passing waste properly, then your body will often recirculate the yeast in your system – and that’s the last thing someone suffering from Candida overgrowth wants.
Considering Fecal Transplant Treatments
One alternative way to fight back against Candida problems, is with a fecal transplant. According to studies published by the journal of Gastroenterology Hepatology, microbiota or fecal transplants can have a 91% curing rate when treating problems like clostridium difficile, IBS, and other autoimmune diseases. In fact, there are circumstances wherein someone with life-threatening infections have actually been saved by a fecal transplant.
A fecal transplant is a medical procedure in which stool or fecal matter is collected from a healthy donor, mixed with a sterile solution, and placed within the colon of another individual using an endoscopy, enema, or colonoscopy. The aim of this procedure is to repopulate the gut of the receiving patient with healthy and normal bacteria or microbes that live within the donor’s gut. While it’s fully possible to repopulate a receiver’s gut with healthy and normal bacteria using probiotic-rich foods and taking supplements, this process generally takes a lot longer. While healthy poop contains about 1000+ strains of good microbes, the average probiotic supplement or food contains between one and thirty. The nature of fecal transplant technology ensures that it may be a good solution for those who suffer from frequent Candida problems and need to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
Fighting Back against Candida Problems
Fighting back against Candida issues can take a lot of hard work, involving careful lifestyle changes and adaptions to diet. Beyond avoiding foods that can feed the yeast, and choosing foods and supplements that will help to positively repopulate the gut following a cleanse, it’s important to support the detox process and avoid exposure to chemicals that might cause allergic reactions and lead to further problems with yeast overgrowth.
The most important thing to remember is that in the case of Candida, over-the-counter and prescription treatments are rarely the right choice. Not only are they ineffective, but they can lead to negative side effects that simply wouldn’t occur with the use of careful natural remedies.