Candida is a type of yeast known as a fungus. It is present in our body in a small amount and its purpose is to assist in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. However, it can get out of control and when it does, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your health. Candida overgrowth will break down the intestinal wall and move into the bloodstream. During this process, it releases toxic byproducts causing leaky gut syndrome.If your gut is healthy, it's full of good bacteria which keeps the candida levels at bay. The use of antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria and can cause candida to take over. Other things that cause candida to proliferate, is a diet high in refined carbohydrates, alcohol and sugar, which feeds yeast. Stress and oral contraceptives also contribute to candida overgrowth. Fermented foods, while they are full of good probiotic bacteria they are also food for yeast and can cause candida to grow out of control.
The most common signs of candida are, but are not limited to, severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears, vaginal and urinary tract infections, anxiety, depression and irritability or mood swings, eczema, psoriasis, hives and rashes, poor memory, lack of concentration and focus, ADD/ADHD and foggy brain, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Scleroderma, MS, Lupus, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fibromyalgia, CFS, fatigue, athlete's foot, skin and nail fungus, ringworm and notably an insatiable craving for sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Getting proper testing is important. Most labs will test, IgG, IgA and IgM candida anti-bodies. A high level of these indicates you have a candida overgrowth present. However, this test is not the most reliable because results can be negative, while stool testing will indicate a positive result, if yeast is present. The most reliable test for candida is through stool, using a Comprehensive Digestive & Stool Analysis. With this test, your stool is analyzed directly for yeast levels in your colon or lower intestines. Some labs can actually determine the species of yeast.
Treating candida takes focus and discipline, but it can be done quite effectively. First and foremost, it will require a change in your diet. Eliminate all forms of sugar and eat a low carbohydrate diet. That means getting rid of all grains, beans, fruits, bread, pasta, alcohol and potatoes all of which feed yeast. In addition, eliminate all fermented foods which fuel candida. The process of getting candida under control can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on how bad it is and how disciplined you can be. If you are looking for a pharmaceutical approach, your doctor can prescribe an anti-fungal like, Nyastatin or Diflucan; however, these drugs are very hard on the liver. A better option is to follow the anti-candida diet as outlined above with the use of caprylic acid. This supplement is excellent for killing yeast because it pokes holes into the walls of the yeast cell without harming the good bacteria.Once you have successfully eradicated candida overgrowth, it is vitally important to restore the healthy bacteria that keep candida under control. The way to do this is by taking a good probiotic containing a mix of strains between 25-100 billion units of probiotic bacteria to repopulate the gut. I have found Innate Responseto have one of the best probiotics available. Add to that a specific bacteria of good yeast that ingests the bad yeast known as, Saccharomyces Boulardii, Eliminating inflammatory foods that harm the GI tract and replacing them with healing foods that aid digestion and nutrient absorption will go a long way toward keeping candida in check and improve your health overall.
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