Candida is a natural strain of yeast that neutralizes a certain species of gut bacteria. It is very useful in the body when it is found in low concentrations because it helps maintain ideal intestinal flora levels. This maintenance is the normal, healthy function of Candida. When the yeast starts to overgrow in the body it can lead to some very common health disorders. People who are most likely to be infected with Candida are people taking antibiotics, people with asthma using inhaled corticosteroids, people on corticosteroids or immunosuppressive therapy after organ transplant, people who are pregnant, people with diabetes, people who are obese, or people with a weakened immune system.
Being infected with Candida is not something that is remedied by taking drugs. A person can not acquire the infection from an outside source. Treatment involves a life change of diet, living habits, environmental and possible emotional elements. The Candida organism mostly affects the brain, but it can also affect many other systems such like the digestive system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, the urinary system, the endocrine system, the lymphatic system and the musculoskeletal system. Yeast organisms are responding to the body’s changes in pH balance levels. These changes cause the yeast to overgrow. Again, these yeast organisms in low levels are healthy. The overgrowth of these organisms creates powerful toxins and cause many symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Candida
1. Abdominal Gas
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
5. Excessive fatigue
8. Rectal itching
9. Inability to think clearly
11. Mood swings
18. Sinus inflammation
21. Poor memory
22. Persistent cough
24. Low sex drive
25. Muscle weakness
27. Learning difficulties
28. Multiple chemical sensitivities
31. Athletes foot
How to Control Candida Symptoms
The two main causes of Candida infection is the use of antibiotics and nutrition and diet. Other influences are weakened immune systems or drugs that change hormones levels. The combination of better food choices and medication can help with overgrowth of Candida and help prevent future Candida overgrowth.
Control Antibiotic Use
Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria help regulate the balance of Candida yeast growth. Use antibiotics only when necessary. There are other healthy alternatives. If no alternative can be found and antibiotics must be taken use them in conjunction with an acidophilus supplement. The healthy bacteria will still be present if this supplement is taken. Using this supplement daily will help prevent Candida infection all together and it also promotes a healthy colon.
Nutrition and Diet
A Candida diet eliminates foods that are high in sugar. Eliminating sugar will insure the yeast will not be fed and overgrow. Sugars found in grains, fruits and some sweet vegetables contain too much sugar and feed the yeast. The idea behind the Candida treatment diet is to starve the yeast that is living in the body. Do not eat anything outside the diet because the yeast is fed and it starts growing again. Basically all foods that are refined, processed or sweetened are off limits. Foods to avoid are cereal, bread, fruit, pasta, muffins, sweet vegetables like carrots and wine. Foods like meat, eggs, vegetables and yogurt are good options and also small amounts of carbohydrates like potatoes and brown rice. The diet must be adhered to for 3-6 months straight in order to correct the yeast problem. There may be side effects in the diet are because there are a lot of proteins and not very many carbohydrates.
Doing a Candida cleanse can restore balance to the body. There are over the counter remedies or herbal combinations like burdock, vitamin C, garlic, oregano oil and barberry root will work to balance the overgrowth of Candida.