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Candida, What Is It?

I'm sure you've heard it before, but it may have left you wondering... what on earth is candida? Candida is a fungus that is well known for invading the intestinal tract and reproductive organs.

Many people have suddenly realized that their body has been overcome by a yeast organism overpopulating the gut, Candida albicans. We normally have yeast in our body. Yeast is a type of fungi. We’re exposed to yeast all the time. I never met a yeast I wouldn’t eat. Yeasts are fine, healthy, ecologically safe, and balanced substances. The problem arises when any substance in the body gets out of balance; then it becomes harmful. An overgrowth of Candida albicans in the digestive tract is reported to create severe allergy symptoms: headaches, skin eruptions, chronic fatigue, digestive distress, and general immune-system frailty. An overgrowth of Candia albicans occurs because Candida is an opportunistic yeast organism. Only when kept in check by competing microorganisms will yeast stay in a balanced population. With nothing competing with or protecting against it in the gut (or vaginal tract, where it is a common cause of yeast infections, a common side effect of antibiotics), it begins to flourish, and it expands higher up in the GI tract. The primary question is not how to kill this invader, but where were the protective factors? The protectors, acidophilus bacilli, bifidus, and acidophilus yeast, were probably destroyed by antibiotics, chlorinated water, and constant consumption of junk foods. A diet high in sugar would also spur further yeast growth because it is such a simple carbohydrate food that the yeast can thrive on it. 


Contributing Factors:

  1. Poor gut ecology of the mother – our gut ecology is passed on by our mothers, and if our mothers have a challenged state, then we will be born with a pre-disposition toward candidiasis.
  2. Poor eating habits – sugar, alcohol, vinegar, wheat, corn and peanuts are the main culprits contributing to feeding this fungal infection.
  3. Stress – can lead to acidosis, which creates a perfect environment for Candida to flourish.
  4. Acidosis – can occur from long term stress, acidic foods, medication consumption, inadequate water, coffee drinking, poor gut ecology, and most certainly antibiotics.
  5. Antibiotics – kill the probiotics in the intestinal tract.  As a result, the more aggressive parasites and fungi in the gut will take over the parking spots in the colon.  This can have long lasting results.
  6. Birth control pills.
  7. Sluggish bowels – when the bowels are not moving at least once per day (preferably twice), what ensues is fermentation in the gut.  This fermentation is a perfect environment for candida to flourish.

Possible Symptoms: Click here for a comprehensive questionnaire. 

 

Candidiasis can present a wide variety of symptoms, the exact combination and severity of which depend upon the individual case, biological terrain, foods eaten, and condition of the elimination organs. By nature of their vast diversity, the symptoms have heretofore appeared unrelated. They are usually chronic and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Allergies: to foods and/or airborne chemicals, especially if these are acquired in adulthood. The number of offending substances keeps increasing until many individuals become so sensitive to the everyday environment that they must live in isolation. 
  2. Fatigue: continual, but often more noticeable after eating. 
  3. Digestive Issues: poor digestion (constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, heartburn, nausea, gastritis, colitis, etc.) 
  4. Nervous System: anxiety without apparent cause (often worse after eating), carbohydrate cravings, irritability, mood swings, headaches, migraines, "fogged-in" feeling, inability to concentrate/mind "wanders off", poor memory, confusion, dizziness, M.S.-like symptoms (slurred speech, loss of muscle co-ordination, vision affected), paranoia, without apparent cause, not in total control of one’s actions (know right thing to do but unable to execute), mental incompetence (sometimes leading to institutionalization), a variety of other behavioral disturbances. 
  5. Genito-urinary: vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, infertility, prostatitis, rectal itch, urinary tract infection/inflammation (urgency, burning). 
  6. Respiratory: resistance problems (catches anything going - flues, colds), hay fever, mucous congestion, postnatal drip, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, frequent clearing of throat, habitual coughing (usually non-productive) that will not respond to anything, sore throat, earaches. 
  7. Skin: athlete‘s foot, jock itch, skin rash, hives, dry brownish patches, oily skin around the nose and chin, rough skin on sides of arms which gets worse at certain times of the month or under increased stress. 
  8. Gout 
  9. Childhood History: CNS -hyperactivity, aggressiveness, SKIN - cradle cap, diaper rash, thrush, RESP.-chronic ear infection, tonsillitis, GI-colic. 
  10. Miscellaneous: feel bad all over, cold extremities, arthritis-like symptoms, white coating on tongue upon arising (non-fasting state), standard blood parameters between normal limits.

IMPORTANT: Not all individuals presenting some combination of the above symptoms will have a Candida problem - but the likelihood of it is immense.


Now What?​


Seeking out a professional health care practitioner, such as an ND, MD, Homeopath or Certified Nutritionist, when dealing with Candidiasis will be beneficial. Depending on the severity of the issue, it can take from 2 months to 1 year to resolve this issue, however, every step of the journey will be well worth it! 


What can YOU do? 


Join Holistic Nutrition in a candida cleanse! This Sunday, we will be taking the challenge ourselves and getting rid of all those little critters. We will blog, tweet and instagram different tips, recipes and our overall experience. If you have ANY questions or comments, please feel free to email us for assistence: chelsea@naturesapotheke.com or pop by the store and speak with one of our professional staff members (all staff is trained AND certified as holistic nutritionists or homeopathic practitioners). 

Click HERE for the Candida Cleanse.

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Chelsea Cybalski
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October 19, 2016
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