Are you familiar with fatigue, irritability, recurring sinus or yeast infections—you may blame it on allergies or stress. However, it may be something else. There are at least 25 different variations of Candida overgrowth in the human body, and experts say that 1/3 of the population suffers from diseases associated from it, let’s take a look at how it can affect you.
Candida Albicans is a yeast-like fungus that normally lives in healthy balance in the body, found mostly in the intestines, genital tract, mouth, and throat. When that balance is upset, or your defenses are poor, infection results. This is known as Candidasis, fungus travels to all parts of the body through the bloodstream, releasing its toxins. This normally harmless yeast fungus can overgrow throughout the intestine and penetrate into inner organs such as lungs, kidneys or heart.
Influences for Candida overgrowth
There are many predisposing factors leading to Candida overgrowth or Candidiasis, overwhelming the immune system. It is estimated that 70% of our immune system resides in the digestive tract alone. Typically it is located in the colon, along with several other types of bacteria, many of which are essential for optimal digestion and protection from infection. Once this is compromised, it becomes a breeding ground for such fungus, so realizing which factors contribute to a weakened immune system are very important.
The overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is by far the most frequent cause of the ailment. People who have been on antibiotic drugs for long periods of time, for example- to treat acne and recurrent sinus infections, are at particularly high risk for developing the disorder. Antibiotics can kill many kinds of bacteria, often the “good” strains that typically keep candida within bounds can be destroyed along with the “bad” they are designed to destroy. They dramatically disrupt the body’s delicate balance of microorganisms, proceeding to rapidly spread Candida overgrowth.
Other factors that can increase a person’s susceptibility include; stress, a high-sugar diet, hormonal changes, and diabetes.
Each of these factors can produce an imbalance of microorganisms in the intestinal tract by killing the “good bacteria” and leaving an overabundance of “bad’ candida cells. It proliferates in the gut, penetrates the intestinal wall, and is carried by the circulatory system throughout the body. At this point, the candida becomes systemic: it infects organ and muscle tissues and compromises the entire immune system, it may no longer be able to sufficiently repel invaders. It is almost impossible to get rid of it until the immune system is restored to normal function.
Most cases of Candida overgrowth are mild and can be fully cleared up with a combination of supplements, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Revamp your diet. Some changes in your eating habits are necessary to eliminate a candida overgrowth. Start by increasing your intake of protein and high-fiber vegetables. Try to limit or eliminate sugar from your daily diet as well, Candida thrives on sugar.
Avoid antibiotic use—if necessary, be sure to pair your antibiotic with a probiotic supplement in order to maintain appropriate levels of good bacteria, and to counter the harmful effect of the antibiotic on the delicate bacterial balance.
Reduce stress, learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs without having a negative impact on your immune system. Regular exercise will keep you healthy, boost your immune system, and is a great way to reduce stress.
Enzyme products like Candex Yeast Management System can be helpful in breaking down the tough cell wall of the yeast. When this occurs, the yeast dies. Candex for example, uses 5 enzymes, including cellulase and hemicellulase.
Candida is a part of our life and a certain amount is harmless and perfectly natural. Managing yeast and taking good care of your gut is a big key to overall health and wellbeing.
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Kristin Bonham is a true NutritionGeek and mother of 6. She enjoys reading and writing about nutrition, and understands the challenges of balancing work, health, and home.