After years of working with clients with candida symptomology, I have found that until the yeast (candida albicans) is brought under control, the body cannot begin to heal with efficacy. Once again, we need to look at ‘balance’. If the internal environment of the body is unbalanced, then that environment is an ideal situation for disease.
Friendly Bacteria: Candida does have a purpose! When babies are born, their intestinal tracts have about 75% lacto bacillus acidophilus and about 25% e coli bacteria which are the ‘non-friendly’ bacteria. Yeast also exists in the intestines and plays the role of assisting in breaking down proteins.
The problem occurs when these friendly and non-friendly bacteria get out of balance, thus allowing the yeast to proliferate.
So, what can cause an unbalance in friendly bacteria? All antibiotics kill friendly flora, as do cortisone-type drugs, oral contraceptives, and chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, certain foods encourage the growth of Candida. Candida is a living micro-organism that thrives on all food products that are simple sugars, as well as all foods that turn to glucose (sugar) in the body. This includes most carbohydrates, such as refined white flours, rice, pasta, as well as products which contain yeast.
Symptoms: The symptoms that can occur from systemic yeast are too numerous to mention; but here are just a few: extreme mood swings, irritability, depression, headaches, lethargy, gastritis, colitis, bloating, fluid in ears, itching, rashes, psoriasis, acne, spots in vision, blurred vision, nasal congestion and stuffiness, postnasal drip, cystitis, endometriosis, kidney or bladder infections, loss of appetite, overeating, insomnia, poor circulation, numbness and tingling, vaginal burning or itching, menstrual cramping, PMS, hay fever, asthma, food sensitivities, hives, loss of interest in sex, thrush, and colic.
Digestion: Proper digestion is the missing ingredient in many health programs. The role of digestion in controlling Candida is no exception. After eating a meal, the food begins to break down through enzymes produced by the body. Minerals in the bloodstream help the parietal glands in the stomach in making hydrochloric acid. This acidic reaction kills pathogens on the food and enables the protein and minerals to be further broken down by digestive juices. The small intestine walls do not have protective mucosa, so without this alkalizing mineral bath you would have burning and pain. Once this process is complete, the food is in tiny pieces able to pass through the walls of the small intestines to be used as food energy at a cellular level. If this digestive process is working correctly you will be in good shape; given, of course, that your diet is rich in raw and organic foods.
However, most people slip up somewhere along the line. If you do not chew your food well to begin the digestive process, if your pancreas is not producing enough enzymes, and you don’t make enough HCL then the pepsin cannot convert to pepsinogen in the stomach and protein digestion as well as mineral absorption is impaired. The body is then malnourished in spite of all your efforts to eat correctly.
Food that is in a state of partial digestion cannot cross the gut wall as nourishment. This can irritate the gut wall; or large partially digested food particles can cross through and circulate the blood stream in an unusable form. This state triggers a bodily response of defense. Yeast is called upon to eat protein or starch that wasn’t digested in the intestines. The more the yeast is fed, the more waste it makes. The waste from the overgrowth of yeast creates the problems which manifest as symptoms of dis-ease.
Killing off the yeast helps….but is not the total answer. Good digestion is imperative. Food enzymes, particularly containing cellulase, which eats yeast, are an important part of any Candida program. There are several herbs which can get the yeast under control by killing it off. Here are a few: White pond lily, greasewood, purple loosestrife, pau d’arco, caprylic acid, oregano, and garlic.
Changing your diet: Avoid starchy foods, white flour, processed foods, and sugars. Packaged meats, canned goods, vinegar, yeast products, cakes, candy, mushrooms, alcohol, and peanuts are major foods to avoid. Your diet should consist mainly of fresh vegetables and organic meats in a balanced fashion. It is even best to avoid fruits and fruit juices for a short time while first doing a Candida/yeast cleanse.
After taking medications: Continuing on the digestive program of enzymes which contain cellulase is a must at all times; but particularly after a bout of antibiotics, or constant use of oral contraceptives. After all Candida/yeast programs, it is important to follow up with refloridation of the friendly bacteria in the colon. Acidophilus, bifidophilus, and other strains of healthy bacteria are necessary. If the intestinal system is in a state of cleanliness, with good peristalsis; the friendly bacteria will eventually begin to repopulate on their own.
Candida can be kept in check.