by Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed.
Candida is a yeast that lives in all of our bodies. It is also known as Candidiasis. Normally it is kept in balance by other friendly bacteria that also live there. It loves and thrives in a warm, moist environment and thus tends to proliferate in some areas more than others, such as the mouth, genitals, gastrointestinal tract and feet.
In a healthy body Candida yeast usually exists in a symbiotic relationship with other healthy bacteria, but what is happening more and more in people's bodies today is that it is growing out of control and causing a wide variety of health conditions. The balance of bacteria in our bodies is getting unbalanced and Candidiasis is taking over.
This imbalance is created by two main causes - diet and prescription antibiotics.
Prescription antibiotics are overused in our society. They are prescribed too frequently for conditions that don't even require them. Antibiotics wipe out your friendly bacteria that keep yeast overgrowth in check, so there's nothing there to maintain balance. This allows Candida to take over and grow rampant like a wild weed.
Other prescription medications like the birth control pill, steroids, immune suppressing drugs and estrogen also encourage the overgrowth of yeast.
Sugar is Candida's predominant food source. Starchy foods or simple carbohydrate break down in the body into sugar very quickly so they too are a primary source of food the yeasty beasty. When you eat sugar, starchy food and simple carbohydrates it gives the yeast a delicious feast. The more food it has, the more it proliferates.
This situation is complicated even further by the fact that simple carbohydrates are not nutritional. If your body doesn't receive adequate nutrients, vitamins and minerals it can't support a strong immune system and this leaves the body vulnerable to yeast overgrowth.
When Candidiasis grows rampant a variety of adverse health conditions can arise. It can be the cause of flatulence, inability to lose weight, menstrual difficulties, bloating, hormonal fluctuations, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, chronic fatigue, memory problems, sore throats, headaches, migraines, indigestion, anxiety, eczema, hyperactivity, attention deficit, athletes feet and genital infections to name just a few.
The list of possible health issues that can arise from yeast overgrowth is so vast that it is beyond the scope of this short article. It can leave the gastrointestinal tract, enter the blood stream and effect any organ or system in the body. It can even lead to serious debilitating conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Chemical Sensitivities, Autism, and Crohn's. Yeast overgrowth in our society has grown to epidemic proportions and most people are not even aware of the role it plays in their health.
Once this hardy yeast gets the upper hand in the body it is extremely difficult to eliminate completely, because it is astonishingly persistent, resilient, adaptive and cunning.
The most crucial step one can take in the battle to control yeast overgrowth is to make lifestyle changes that incorporate a Candida diet. Eliminate the use of sugar in your life and reduce the amount of starches and simple carbohydrates. Switch to a balanced meal of healthy proteins, low carbohydrate vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
Your next most important weapon you need is knowledge. The more you understand about the complexity and depth of the yeast overgrowth problem, the better equipped you are to confront it. Read as much information as you can from as many sources as possible. Unfortunately many people, even those who treat Candida, do not have a thorough understanding of the true nature of this beast.
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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