by Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed.
Many people are unaware that Candida overgrowth can be responsible for a variety of the common mental and physical health conditions we see in society today. This clever, but destructive organism is often at the root of depression, anxiety disorders, sore throat, chronic headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperactivity, gas, chronic fatigue, stomach bloating, irritability, restless legs, eczema, indigestion, heart burn, attention deficit disorder, as well as more serious conditions like prostatitis, autism, asthma and crohn's and many more. As a matter of fact Candida can contribute to just about any physical, psychological, cognitive or behavioral symptom you can imagine and completely debilitate the host.
Candida Albicans is a yeast that is responsible for the common vaginal yeast infection, jock itch or thrush that women, men and children contract from time to time. What most people don't realize is that this same yeast often sets up house in their gastrointestinal tract where over time it burrows holes in the gut, enters the blood stream and travels to other parts of the body, including the brain, lungs and nervous system.
Everyone has a certain degree of Candida present in their body. It's supposed to be there and usually lives in symbiosis with a variety of other friendly or healthier bacteria. The balance of good bacteria/bad bacteria prevents it from wrecking havoc on the body. However, it's becoming more commonplace for the good bacteria to become overwhelmed by the bad bacteria due to the overuse of antibiotics and a poor diet high in sugar and refined foods.
Candida emits over 70 different toxins into the body. The higher the number of yeast organisms in your body the higher amount of toxins it will release. These toxins are responsible for the disruptive symptoms that result in an abundance of chronic health conditions, syndromes and illnesses.
Antibiotics and a diet high in sugar are the leading causes of Candida. When you take an antibiotic, in addition to killing the bacteria that's making you sick it also wipes out friendly bacteria that your body needs and this leaves the body vulnerable for Candida to proliferate. Candida's main food source is sugar, so when you eat sugar or any food that is high in starch or simple carbohydrates this too makes it grow out of control. However, other contributors to yeast overgrowth include nutritional deficiencies, immune suppressing drugs, drinking alcohol and taking drugs, synthetic estrogen, steroids, antacids and birth control pills.
Treatment of yeast overgrowth usually consists of following a strict Candida diet, replenishing the gastrointestinal tract with probiotics, taking natural antifungals like grapefruit seed extract, garlic and oregano oil, enhancing immune function and colon cleansing.
Candida is exceptionally hardy, adaptive and resilient and can be very difficult to overcome once it gets a good stranglehold in the body. So, the best course of action is awareness and prevention by eating a healthy organic diet free of sugar and junk food and the avoidance of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary to save your life. Organic food is important in order to avoid ingesting antibiotics in your meat and milk supply. It's also important to reduce exposure to common environmental toxins as they weaken the body and make it vulnerable to yeast.
There are 30 to 40 different strains of yeast and some of these strains can be very resistant to treatment. It's important to educate yourself as much as possible about this cunning little beast, as knowledge is your most valuable weapon in both prevention and treatment.
About the Author:
Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed. is a holistic health counselor who has researched Candida and it's impact on our physical and mental health for almost two decades. Her knowledge is enriched with personal experience in combating the condition herself. Get the facts you need about Candida in her handy little Ebook, Candida Secrets.
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