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Candida Albicans

posted on 25 March 2007 | posted in Health Articles


CANDIDA ALBICANS
By Terry Larder AKFRP

In the UK there are thousands of candida albicans sufferers that have remained undiagnosed or misdiagnosed simply because until recently, little has been known about the problem. Hay fever and allergies, asthma, cystitis, thrush, migraine, acne and other skin disorders, depression and acute anxiety are just a few of the symptoms that can be caused by. It is estimated that between 40% and 60% of the population have CA. in a pathogenic form.

WHAT IS CANDIDA ALBICANS?
It is fungal yeast that inhabits the large intestine or bowel. Normally it causes no problems at all and is a normal inhabitant together with other bowel flora. If there is an over- population in the gut due to the use of antibiotics, hormonal or steroidal drugs or a diet conducive to its growth it is difficult to test for. This is due to the fact that it is present in everyone's stools. Researchers now believe that some people actually become allergic to the organism itself; therefore quantity is not always a good indication that there is a problem.

When conditions are just right for its proliferation, it will alter from its usual spore formation to grow mycelia - roots much like a mushroom's but minute in size. They penetrate the bowel wall in this state, thus rendering the bowel slightly porous. Toxins from the bowel can then leak into the system and cause many symptoms when someone has thrush in the mouth a white film appears over the tissue. This is what candida looks like when it grows. Also, once the bowel is porous, it means that the candida spores can leak out into other areas of the body, giving rise to what we call systemic candida. The candida releases its own toxins too, thus creating a strain for the liver, the organ that helps us detoxify.

The mother can also transfer it to the baby at birth if the mother already has the problem. Once the CA. is established, it is difficult to shift without proper treatment.

HOW CAN CANDIDA ALBICANS BE TREATED?
Each individual has to be assessed so that a programme, that is effective for him or her, can be prescribed. In mild cases this can be done at a minimal cost with diet alone, however in our experience, as soon as the diet is relaxed, the symptoms soon return. It doesn't get to the root of the problem. In most cases the treatment is more costly and, rather than buying many supplements to try and resolve the problem, it is more advisable to seek professional help which in the long term means that your treatment will be tailored to individual needs. Treatment is much more effective and can be dealt with much more quickly using kinesiology.

Treatment consists of four main areas:

1. Eliminating the candida albicans in the system, or considerably reducing it.

2. Re-establishing healthy gut flora (bacteria in the bowel). This will mean that the opportunistic candida will be unable to get a foothold so easily.

3. Healing the leaky gut

4. Strengthening the immune system, which is often impaired as a result of an overgrowth of CA.

GUIDE TO TREATMENTS
Before commencing the treatment, it might be advisable to read a book by Leon Chaitow entitled "Candida albicans - Could yeast be your problem?" published by Thorsons. It will help you to have a better understanding of the problem and thus help you to stick to the therapy. There are many other books or articles that are widely available on this subject.

It's worth remembering - it is important to establish that each individual's needs are different. Remedies and doses can widely differ from one person to the next. Candidiasis is a complex condition on which a great deal of time and money can be wasted and even damage done to the health of a person if the wrong types of treatment are used. However if you choose to treat yourself, you can safely follow the protocol below.

In addition to the suggested dietary patterns, your practitioner may treat you for hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) if it is present.

Elimination of candida albicans overgrowth - How your practitioner will be assessing and treating you
a. This consists of mainly diet, eliminating food intolerances, sugar and its derivatives and in some cases yeast from the diet and eliminating the C.A with a natural herb or non-toxic substance that has no adverse side effects. In stubborn cases, it may be suggested to you that a bowel cleansing programme would be appropriate which is a method of very gently cleansing the bowel with the use of herbs, psyllium husks and repopulating the bowel with good bacteria using probiotics, or herbs that encourage the body to host the right kind of bacteria.

b. It is an important aspect of the treatment to re-establish healthy gut flora to the intestine in order to prevent the candida from returning. After killing off the candida, you have in a sense created a vacuum. This vacuum is likely to be refilled by the candida unless the healthy bacteria are encouraged to re-establish it. Probiotics such as bifido and acidophilus bacteria and the B vitamin Biotin may be used for this and is usually part of the second phase of the treatment.

c. Strengthening the immune system is important for two reasons. Firstly the immune system is always weakened by candida overgrowth. Secondly, a weak immune system cannot defend the body from candida overgrowth so that the problem will tend to return again. A strong immune system will naturally inhibit the growth and spread of candida and help keep the status quo unless antibiotics, hormones, prolonged extreme stress etc upset it again. Psycho-neuro-immunology is a fairly new branch of medical science whose research has shown that prolonged extreme stress can seriously impair the immune system causing a substantial drop in white blood cells that fight disease. Therefore, it is very important that a person with candidiasis is helped to relax and learn how to care for him or herself emotionally.

d. The tiny mycelial roots of candida albicans penetrate the bowel wall and can leave the gut porous. This means that the toxins from the bowel can leaky out. This is called Leaky Gut Syndrome. The symptoms from this can include poor skin, fatigue, food intolerance and liver overload (the liver has much more to do dealing with the extra toxins in the bloodstream). This also means that candida can leak out into the rest of the body causing the candida to spread and affect other parts of the system. The treatment for this is to give herbs that will help the gut to heal. High quality aloe vera may be given as it has excellent healing properties, builds the immune system and helps overcome food intolerances.

e. In some cases, candida gets a hold due to an altered pH balance in the body. This means that the stomach can be lacking in hydrochloric acid and/or digestive enzymes, thus creating an imbalanced pH level downstream. The small intestine then becomes too acid, and the bowel becomes too alkaline, thus providing an ideal medium for C.A to get a hold. This can also happen in the vagina - the "pill" or other hormone imbalances can cause the vaginal area to be too alkaline, thus causing thrush to take a hold. Therefore, in these cases, part of the treatment may involve redressing the acid/alkaline balance with enzymes, calcium and magnesium and green plant foods.

f. Sometimes the non-return valves that prevent waste from backing up into the small intestine become unstable. Your kinesiologist and naturopath may administer treatment to balance these valves. This will also help with e. to maintain a healthy pH level in the gut.
See article discussing Ileocaecal Valve

DISEASES THOUGHT TO BE RELATED TO OR AFFECTED BY CANDIDA

Allergies to chemicals and foods, Crohns disease
Hodgkin's disease, Systemic lupus erythematosis, Scleroderma, Sarcoidosis, Chronic respiratory disease, Myasthenia gravis, Autism, Alcoholism, Anorexia nervosa/Bulimia, Multiple sclerosis, Drug addiction, IInflammatory bowel disease (IBD), AIDS

SYMPTOMS THAT CAN BE CONTRIBUTED TO BY CANDIDIASIS
Children
Thrush, nappy rash, colic, Irritability , recurring ear infections, poor learning, nasal congestion, digestive problems, wheezing, craving for sweets, short attention span, hyperactivity, chronic cough, persistent headaches, constipation,gas & bloating, mood swings,

General gastrointestinal system
Chronic heartburn, excessive gas, colitis,rectal itching, constipation, gastritis, mucus in stools, indigestion, diarrhoea, distension and bloating of lower abdomen, haemmorhoids

Ears
Recurring infections, excessive wax , deafness, pain, fluid in ears

EyesSpots in vision, excessive tears, burning, blurred vision, double vision, failing vision, erratic vision, chronic inflammation, night blindness

Nose and sinuses

Nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, itching

Lungs and chest
Pain, tightness & wheezing, persistent cough, shortness of breath

Mouth and throat
Sore or bleeding gums, sore or dry throat, bad breath, blisters, ulcers, oral thrush, white patches, dry mouth, ccough

Skin
Rash, itching, psoriasis, acne, athletes foot, dermatitis/eczema, rashes, dry, scaly, fungal infections of nails or skin

Musculo-skeletal system
Muscle aches and pains, muscle paralysis, joint stiffness
muscle weakness, joint pains, joint swelling

Urinary system
Recurring kidney or bladder infections, cystitis, urethritis, burning on urination, Infection, urgency to urinate

Emotional/mental/nervous system
Irritability, extreme up and down moods, depression, Jittery behaviour, sudden mood swings, panic attacks, nervous exhaustion, inability to concentrate, lethargy, poor memory, nervous exhaustion, agitation, acute anxieties, persistent headaches, fatigue, constant sleepiness

Cardiovascular system
Mitral valve prolapse, tingling, numbness in extremities, cold hands and feet, poor circulation

Sexual
Impotence, lack of libido

Women
Vaginal itching or burning, endometriosis, failure to menstruate , extremely heavy periods, discharge, too frequent periods, scanty periods, PMS, menstrual cramping

Men
Prostatitis

Allergic symptoms
Hay fever, hives, urticaria, chronic sinus, asthma, food and chemical sensitivities

MiscellaneousIncreased body hair, loss of body hair, hair breaking, weight gain , weight loss, overeating, loss of appetite, insomnia, bad dreams. poor co-ordination, migraine

THE ANTI-CANDIDA DIET

You will find a lot of strict dietary advice for eliminating candida. This is important if a candida treatment regime is not used. Many times we find that patients tell us that they have been using a candida diet for some time, but the moment they come off it, their symptoms return. In clinic, we find that patients can find that avoiding lots of types of food can be very stressful. We realise that if we give our patients special herbal combinations to strengthen the immune system with the appropriate herbs and nutrients to build up the system to deal with candida, then an overly strict diet is unnecessary in the majority of cases. There are however some exceptions.

The most important things to avoid on this diet are all forms of SUGAR, WHITE, BROWN, MOLASSES, SYRUPS, GLUCOSE, MALTOSE, DEXTROSE, FRUCTOSE, HONEY AND ANY FOODS WITH THESE INGREDIENTS. At the very least, keep your intake of these very low. Yeast is only a problem if you have yeast intolerance, so unless you know you have one, bread is okay.

If candidiasis is going to be successfully treated so that the problem does not keep returning, it is absolutely necessary to keep off all medications that are anti-biotic or hormonal based e.g. Tetracycline type drugs, penicillin, cortisone and cortico-steroid drugs and all hormonal drugs such as the contraceptive pill. Also chemotherapy and immuno-suppressant drugs and any drug that causes extreme stress to the system. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE COMING OFF ANY MEDICATIONS.

It is advisable to keep dairy (cows) products to a minimum during this time, and if at all possible, it is useful if you can get organically grown meat and free range eggs - in other words, products that have not been fed on antibiotics and hormones.

Foods and drinks allowed (the ones in bold print help your treatment)
All fish and shellfish, preferably not smoked
All meat, preferably additive free and white meats are preferred
Eggs - free range if possible
All kinds of vegetables
Lots of GARLICVegetable Juices, especially fresh ones
Virgin olive oil and edible linseed oil
Brown rice and any brown rice product, rice milk
Millet, quinoa
Maize flour or corn e.g. corns on the cob
Barley oats, rye
Wholemeal flour products and wholemeal bread unless intolerant of yeast.
Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, tahini etc. and fresh nuts
Buckwheat and buckwheat pasta
Soya milk (sugar free) soya flour, soya protein, soya meat
Lapacho (Taheebo, Pao D'Arco) herbal teaFiltered or mineral water
Dandelion coffee
Herbal teas and china teas
Natural live yoghurts, particularly made from sheep or goat's milkAll fresh fruits, but avoid citrus fruits - maximum up to 3 pieces a
Day, eaten one at a time

General advice

Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, and thoroughly wash/scrub all fruit and vegetables to remove hidden mould. You can soak fruit and vegetables in cheap malt vinegar and water (4-5 tablespoons to a sink full of water) for 15-20 minutes. Rinse for 5 minutes or, to remove pesticideand spray residue as well, use a few drops of Sunshine Concentrate

The problem, if all phases of treatment are complete, should resolve in 3 - 6 months, longer if it has been a lifelong problem. Because candidiasis is part of our normal gut flora, it will easily take hold again if your system tends to be a good growth medium for it. CONTINUE TO KEEP SUGAR INTAKE TO A MINIMUM, ANTIBIOTICS AND HORMONAL DRUGS if you wish to stay free from candida overgrowth.

Foods and drinks to avoid

All types of sugar, glucose, molasses, treacle, syrups, honey and artificial sweeteners. Fructose (fruit sugar can be used to sweeten - in moderation! It is sweeter than sugar and you can use a lot less of it to take the edge off things such as sour fruit.
Keep dried fruits to a sprinkling in your muesli
Fruit juices unless diluted with 2/3 water.
Alcohol - all types but in particular, sweet drinks and yeasty drinks. If you want to drink alcohol, vodka or gin is best, but watch the mixers!
Bread is OK. If you are being treated with anti candida supplements.
All refined carbohydrates, white flour products, cakes, pastries, buns, biscuits, breakfast cereals that are sweetened, cake mixes.
Malt and malted food and drinks
Stale nuts, and watch peanuts and peanut butter that are old - they become mouldy quickly. You might be sensitive to these.
Black tea
Soft drinks
Monosodium glutamate
ANY FOODS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE INTOLERANT OF! If you are unsure, visit a kinesiologist.

Contrary to popular belief, yeast and yeasty foods do not pose a problem unless you are intolerant to it (some candida sufferers are). Your practitioner will advise you.

Self-treatment protocol
We have found that there are some great herbal combinations that really do make a difference and deal with candidiasis very successfully. Make sure that you carry out this protocol over 3 months for the best effect. One pot of herbs does not make a recovery! Here is the type of protocol we would use in clinic.

* If you find this a difficult diet, remember that you will get better much more quickly if you follow the diet strictly and take your prescribed supplements regularly! In many cases you will not improve at all unless you follow the diet for at least 2 months! Be positive and you won't look back!

* Always read the ingredients first on the label of foods and drinks before buying them - even products from a health food shop. Your local health shop will be very willing to help you to find suitable foods to eat.

* Take your prescribed supplements as directed by your practitioner for the length of time he/she stipulates. Failure to do so will compromise your progress. Your practitioner can only be successful if you comply!

* You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you first start the diet. If you wish to reduce this reaction, take one or two weeks to gradually cut items out of your diet. For example you may get headaches from cutting out tea, coffee and sugar.

* 50% of people with candidiasis suffer from candida dieback symptoms, such as headaches, 'flu like symptoms, lethargy. This does pass in a few days. Drink plenty of water during this time and take 3 to 6 grams of vitamin C during this time. Follow the treatment plan below and this should reduce the likelihood of dieback symptoms.

If there is no change after a few days and you are still feeling more unwell than you usually do, or are experiencing a rash, diarrhoea or vomiting, CALL YOUR PRACTITIONER FOR ADVICE.

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