Candida’s Not Just A Country North of the U.S.
By William R. Kellas, Ph.D.
What is candida?
Candida albicans, also known as monilia, is a yeastlike organism that is found on the skin and mucous membranes of nearly everyone worldwide. It is especially found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. Candidiasis, which refers to a wide variety of symptoms caused by the overgrowth of candida, can be local or systemic. These symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. Candidiasis can also be called a yeast infection.
Where do such organisms like to live?
Candida and other fungi prefer a place that is moist, dark, and warm; in short, the human body. They prefer an environment with no protective bacteria to get in the way of their multiplying.
What’s in a name?
Fungi prefer an environment that has plenty of their favorite food, sugar.
What are some types of candida infection?
Local manifestations of candidiasis include:
• Vaginal infections in women — these infections cause a cheeselike vaginal discharge and intense itching and burning.
• Thrush is visible as whitish patches in the mouths of newborn and young babies. Thrush can be acquired from the mother during birth, or can be transmitted by contaminated fingers or rubber nipples.
• Skin infections affect mainly the moist warm parts of the body where skin contacts skin with little ventilation. Areas primarily affected are the axilla (armpits), groin, and neck folds in babies, and under the breasts in women with heavy breasts that rest on the underlying skin. Affected areas are reddish and shiny, sometimes with slight slimy or whitish discharge and/or skin soreness.
• Nail infections, in which the nail thickens and raises from its bed.
• Candida may cause disease in lungs, kidneys, and other organs where there is a predisposing condition.
If the candida fungi circulate in the bloodstream, they secrete toxins that create a variety of effects. Systemic infection can follow an untreated local infection, although systemic infection can exist without visible local symptoms.
If a woman has a long history of vaginitis and yeast, chances are good that her husband will have prostate problems later in life.
How common are candida problems?
There is some dispute regarding the prevalence of systemic yeast infections. Some researchers believe that systemic infections are rare and are limited to those with severe immune deficiencies. Others believe that a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, are attributable to yeast. A culture from a vaginal infection can show whether candida is present in such quantities that it is likely to be the causal organism. However, a blood culture for candida or antibodies to it is nearly useless since nearly everyone would test positive regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.
How, then, can it be determined whether an overgrowth of yeast is causing your problems?
If certain conditions which favor the overgrowth of yeast are present, then it is more likely that yeast is your problem, or one of them. If measures known to reduce the yeast population are employed, and your symptoms are reduced, this is again diagnostic of a yeast problem.
Yeast overgrowth is actually a symptom, not a root cause of problems. The presence of yeast is usually an indication of other parasites or a primary toxicity.
What are some systemic symptoms of candida overgrowth?
Symptoms that can be caused by yeast (but may also have other causes)
• Chronic fatigue, or fatigue in mid-afternoon or after meals
• Food cravings, especially for sweets
• Depression, brain fog, poor concentration, irritability
• Hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children
• Loss of sexual desire, dry vaginal area
• A reaction or aversion to perfumes, dust, cut grass, tobacco smoke
• Allergies or hypersensitivity to foods, chemicals, molds, pollen, perfume, tobacco smoke
• Immune impairment, autoimmune disorders
• Headaches, stiff neck and back, joint pains
• Alternating constipation and diarrhea, or either one
• Bladder infections, vaginitis
• Sunlight sensitivity, light hurts eyes
• An overall feeling of not being well
• Bloat and gas. Yeast produces gas and thus bloat, like the gas bubbles that cause the rising of bread.
What conditions predispose a person to get candidiasis?
A number of conditions predispose a person to get candidiasis:
• Antibiotics - Friendly bacteria normally coexist with yeast in the gut in a mutually beneficial balance. When antibiotics wipe out the good bacteria (99% of total) along with the bad (1% of total), yeasts can multiply unchecked. Many women on antibiotics can expect a vaginal yeast infection at about the time the antibiotic is used up.
• Birth control pills - Progesterone in birth control pills changes the vaginal lining to make it more hospitable to yeasts. Progesterone also causes the release of yeast-feeding sugar into the bloodstream.
•Cortisone, Prednisone, and other steroid drugs suppress the immune system, thus letting yeast overgrow.
• Suppressed immune system function, whether caused by the presence of allergies, toxins, or other stressors, AIDS, or immunosuppressive drugs.
• Living in a damp, moldy environment.
• Diabetes or a diet high in sugar, including fruit and juices — both conditions raise the blood sugar level, and yeast feeds on sugar.
• Poor diet — yeast
• Mercury in metal tooth fillings acts as an antibiotic, killing the good bacteria which keep the fungi under control.
How can you tell whether you have a fermentation problem?
Test your urine pH using commercially available pH test paper. The pH should be tested toward the end of your first morning (daytime) urination. The optimal pH is 6.0, and a pH of 7.0 or higher generally means fermentation, which in turn points to yeast and bacteria. (A pH of less than 5.5 can mean metals or chemicals). If you don’t solve the underlying problem until your urine pH is 6 on a regular basis, you may end up on a sweets-restricted diet for the rest of your life just to feel good.
How fast can yeast multiply?
A single bacterium can multiply to 16,777 bacteria within 24 hours, and yeast can multiply almost as fast.
What can be done if a systemic overgrowth of yeast is known or suspected?
There are a number of options, both allopathic and natural.
What type of diet is best for controlling or preventing candida?
Diet is important in the control of candida, and to prevent yeast-related problems in the first place. A good diet which includes vegetables, whole grains, quality protein (chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs), and essential fatty acids will help the immune system in general.
Dr. William R. Kellas is co-founder of the Center For Advanced Medicine in Encinitas, CA. He is also the host of a syndicated radio show, Health Talk — A Second Opinion, heard at 11:00 am to noon on KKLA 99.5FM in the Los Angeles/Orange County area and KPRZ 1240AM in the San Diego/Inland Empire areas. He is the co-author of two books “Thriving in A Toxic World”, “Surviving The Toxic Crisis” and the author of “The Toxic Immune Syndrome Cookbook” Dr. Kellas speaks at major conventions across the U.S. and is in demand as a guest for many radio and television shows. For more information call 1 (888) 244-4420 or The Center for Advanced Medicine (760) 632-9042. You can also check out our website at www.ctradvmed.com .
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