‘C’ is for Candida overgrowth
Candida Albicans is a single celled, fungal yeast that is impossible to keep out of the body. Normally, it does no harm, because beneficial bacteria in the gut, like Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria species keep it in check. When probiotic bacteria are destroyed or depleted, however (by birth control pills, HRT, antibiotics, steroids, extreme stress, high sugar diet, alcohol abuse, chlorinated water), Candida can grow out of control in the gut, or even become systemic and travel throughout the body.
Candida presents problems because it produces chemicals that are toxic to the body. We are talking here about a systemic candida problem, rather than a localised one such a vaginal thrush. Testing for systemic Candida overgrowth is problematic. Your doctor will state categorically that it does not exist as a health problem unless you are either
- a) HIV positive or
- b) undergoing chemotherapy.
Our medical Consultant advises not to waste your breath talking to your Doctor about systemic Candida Overgrowth; they are not permitted to recognise it as a problem outside the above categories.
Laboratory tests can be undertaken privately, and include a stool test; saliva antibody test; and blood antibody test. None of theses tests are 100% conclusive. A test that is doing the rounds on the internet is the ‘spit test’ This has no basis in science, and is completely useless as a diagnostic tool for identifying a systemic candida overgrowth problem.
We have been through Candida overgrowth issues ourselves, and have been helping thousands of sufferers for the past sixteen years, so we have a more helpful and enlightened approach.
If you have been to your doctor regarding having a candida overgrowth, you have probably been faced with one of the following:
- Been laughed out of the surgery.
- Been prescribed anti depressants.
- Been told that such a condition does not exist.
- Been told that you just have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
- Been told that there is nothing wrong with you at all.
- Been prescribed an anti fungal for Thrush if you have it.
When the fungus grows out of control, it changes shape from a round single celled organism into an elongated shape called a mycelium, and often initiates the proliferation of long root-like structures (mycelia and rhizoids) that penetrate the mucosal membranes of the intestines, creating microscopic breaks in the normal mucosal boundary of the gastrointestinal tract. The resulting perforations permit antigens — foreign substances such as candida itself and its toxic acetaldehyde by products, other toxins, and incompletely digested dietary proteins — to leak into the bloodstream, which in turn creates antibody release and inflammation. These can flood the body, and cause wide varieties of discomfort and candida overgrowth symptoms.
Candida can also grow out of control in the intestinal tract, causing continuous inflammation and giving off toxins. The inflammation and toxins put a strain on the immune system, weakening the body’s defences to other problems. So the body is burdened by the antigens and toxins produced by the Candida, and the wide variety of symptoms that make up Candidiasis become apparent.
How do you know if you are suffering from Candida overgrowth? Candida overgrowth is poly symptomatic, and many symptoms can overlap with other conditions, making diagnosis difficult.
Typical symptoms may include cravings for sugary foods, lack of concentration, mood swings, skin rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, fungal infections and, in women, thrush.
If you are unsure whether or not you have Candida overgrowth, we can email you a questionnaire that can indicate if you do suffer from it. Taking your answers to this questionnaire, we then cross reference seven of your answers with a separate medical questionnaire to give a 95% reliable answer.
Common Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
A minority of suffers have numerous symptoms; the vast majority have thrush plus a few others. It is important to remember that not every sufferer has thrush.
The damage to the intestinal wall allows undesirable toxins to permeate into the bloodstream. This condition called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ or ‘gut wall hyperpermeability’ often leads to:
- food allergies and intolerances
- foggy brain
- muscle aches
Once through to the rest of the body, candida has the ability to disrupt the endocrine system causing symptoms such as:
- menstrual irregularities
- joint pains
- fungal infections of the nails/skin e.g. athlete’s foot
- weight gain or weight loss
- ear infections
- chronic tiredness
- sensitivity to perfume, tobacco smoke and petrol
Group 3: Symptoms in the intestines include:
- diarrhoea and/or constipation
- itchy anus
In addition, candida involvement has been implicated in some cases of other illnesses e.g. ME/CFS, Endometriosis.
The popular perception is that candida is the consequence of antibiotics usage. The medical profession dismisses this as fantasy, saying that antibiotics could not have that effect in a healthy individual. But it may be that antibiotics act as the ‘final straw’ where good health has already been compromised, most probably by one or more of the following:
- use of the contraceptive pill or HRT
- use of natural progesterone cream
- use of other steroids (hydrocortisone, prednisolone etc.)
- use of immuno-suppressive drugs
- repeated use of broad-spectrum antibiotics e.g. for acne
- dental mercury amalgam poisoning
- other heavy metal poisoning e.g. lead, cadmium
- chemical poisoning from the home, garden, workplace etc.
- hormonal changes e.g. puberty, pregnancy, menopause
Most conventional doctors do not recognise that there is a problem caused by Candida overgrowth unless in the severely immuno-compromised such as HIV AIDS patients.
Mainstream treatments include:
- Nystatin – This is a prescription drug that inhibits the fungal cell wall. The die off effects can make one feel quite ill; it does have an effect on the liver, and candida is now quite resistant to it.
- Diflucan (fluconazole) – is useful but pricey.
- Nizoral (ketoconazole) – is useful, but has accompanying liver toxicity. Best to get liver function tested whilst using it.
Complementary treatments include:
- Garlic and garlic oil and extracts;
- Grapefruit seed extract;
- Olive leaf extract;
- Pau d’arco;
- Tea tree oil;
- Caprylic acid.
These will give die-off effects, and should be rotated on a regular basis so that the Candida does not become resistant to them.
Seven Point Plan to Treat Candida Overgrowth
Here at Immunecare we have helped thousands of people, many of whom have previously struggled with the effects of candida overgrowth for many years. We have developed a seven point strategy that succeeds quickly in the vast majority of cases of systemic candida.
- Remove the cause.
- Heal the leaky gut (with Immunecare Colostrum).
- Kill the candida (with Candigest Plus).
- Re-populate the gut with beneficial bacteria.
- Boost the immune system.
- Help the digestive system.
- Adopt an anti-candida diet.
Please feel free to download this free Seven Point Plan Candida Programme