FOOD INTOLERANCE TESTING
There are many strains of Candida in the environment. The two which affect humans to the greatest extent are Candida Albicans and Candida Tropicalis. In this discussion the reference to Candida will refer to Candida Albicans. The disease process that its overgrowth produces is referred to as chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis ( an infection in the lining of the digestive system)
Candida Albicans is a body yeast present in all humans. Normally its presence is limited to the skin, the vagina and the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tracts. This yeast is controlled by the normal bacterial flora and the immune system. However, Candida is an opportunistic organism. If something destroys the normal flora and the immune system becomes depressed, inefficient, or overwhelmed, the yeast multiplies and an overgrowth (chronic infection) results.
These yeast colonies release metabolic products and toxins which may be absorbed into the blood stream, causing widely varying symptoms, including lethargy, chronic diarrhoea, constipation, food sensitivity, bloating, asthma, migraine, headaches, and/or depression. The symptoms can be so severe that they are totally incapacitating, or as mild as indigestion and heartburn. Any symptom is possible, and any organ can be affected. Candida is known as 'the' great masquerade. Many patients with severe yeast problems have never told all their symptoms to one physician for fear of being labelled neurotic or a hypochondriac.
Although Candidiasis is typically thought of as a minor infection of the mucous membranes, skin and nails, Candida overgrowth is not a simple problem. The use of antibiotics kills the normal bacterial flora and allows the Candida to proliferate and to become a chronic intestinal infection. This is an increasing problem as more and more antibiotics are prescribed. Some meats are loaded with antibiotics. Low stomach acid also fosters the growth of Candida.
The use of birth control pills, cortisone, other steroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, causes hormone imbalances in the body, which also allow the Candida to grow more abundantly. The chemicals produced by the yeast attack the immune system, and if it weakens, the Candida will spread and affect other parts of the body. Due to a compromised immune system membranes swell; micro-organisms multiply; and nasal, throat, sinus, ear, bronchial, bladder, vaginal and other infections develop. When such infections develop, antibiotics are prescribed which promote additional yeast growth. Health problems will continue until the cycle is interrupted by appropriate treatment.
The most common place for growth of the Candida is in the digestive system, mouth, stomach, bowel etc.; therefore diet contributes to continuing yeast growth. Diets with excess refined or simple carbohydrates, sugar and junk food contribute heavily to Candida overgrowth. Foods high in mould or yeast content such as bread, brewers yeast, beer, cheese and mushrooms also contribute to the problem of Candida overgrowth.
Candida Albicans causes further problems and damage by interfering with the receptor sites for hormones in the body. The result is a slowing down of the hormonal system affecting possibly the Thyroid, Adrenal or Pituitary glands and the production of Oestrogen or Progesterone, Testosterone etc. When the hormonal system is affected all manner of side effects can develop, which, if left untreated can lead to ore serious conditions.
Candida Albicans is capable of producing Acetaldehyde and Ethanol. The human body cannot convert these materials into useful substances and must eliminate them. When the load of these chemicals is too great, poor memory, light-headedness, and lack of concentration may result. Acetaldehyde is also a breakdown product of alcohol and is thought to cause the symptoms of a hangover.
Candida Albicans is a very complex organism. It releases approximately 79 poisons into the blood stream, which adversely affect the human body. If left untreated, a chronic Candida infection and overgrowth can severely debilitate the body, leaving it susceptible to more serious diseases.
Candida normally has a rounded yeast-like shape. However, it can produce an invasive form in which it develops branching threads called Mycelia. These Mycelial branches can penetrate the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract looking for food. This Mycelial form is more difficult to eradicate but is uncommon.
Men, women and children can have Candidiasis. Since women have a more complex hormone system, Candidiasis occurs in them more frequently and with more severe effects. The children that it strikes are those who have received large quantities of antibiotics and/or are consuming excessive sugar and junk food.
Candida symptoms fall into three four areas:
Symptoms in the intestinal and urinary tracts include: vaginal thrush and menstrual complaints. Bowel problems, such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and gas. Inflammation of the oesophagus and stomach lining. Cystitis, Prostatitis, Athletes foot; and skin disorders.
Emotional and mental problems include: severe depression; confusion; extreme irritability; fretfulness; memory lapses; inability to concentrate; difficulty in reasoning; drowsiness; insomnia; lethargy; and loss of self-confidence.
Candida overgrowth is also suspect in infertility difficulties in women. Babies can be infected with Candida Albicans as they pass through the birth canal if the mother has a vaginal thrush.
As Candida overgrowth causes the release of numerous harmful poisons this causes great stress on the immune system and causes inflammation. It is necessary to support the immune system, reduce inflammation and assist healing while destroying the Candida. As the regime necessitates a restricted diet (plus Candida inhibits absorption of essential nutrients to a certain extent) it is also necessary to support the diet by the addition of essential vitamins and minerals.
Candida can be treated successfully, however it does require a strong will by the person concerned to stick to the Candida diet and to take all the recommended supplements. Please see Candida Gold which is recommended for a period of 12-18 months.
All areas of the body must be treated simultaneously.
Where there are skin problems e.g. rashes, vaginal thrush etc. these areas must be treated at the same time as treating the problems internally. Ask your doctor or chemist for advice.
Several facets of this treatment are:
- Use of a special yeast, sugar etc. free diet.
- Use of the recommended supplements.
- Avoidance of the use of antibiotics, steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs where safe to do so.
- Avoidance of birth control pills and hormones - particularly progesterone ( at your discretion and where safe to do so)
- Avoidance of environmental moulds at home and at work.
- Treatment of any other suspected illness.
- Avoidance of chemicals in the environment as much as possible to lower the total load on the immune system.
Since most Candida infections are long standing and well established treatment must be persistent. It must be continued for as long as necessary to prevent symptoms from returning. All sites of Candida infection in the body must be treated. . Treatment length will vary from patient to patient and treatment must be continued until there is no relapse when the treatment is withdrawn. Where there is a Candida infection it can take between 12- 18 months of strictly keeping to the diet and taking the supplements.
Destroying the Candida organism does not immediately undo its damage to the immune and hormone systems. It has been found that it takes about one to three years for the body to build back its immune resistance against Candida Albicans infections. Each individual is unique; therefore treatment programmes must be tailored to each individual.
Faithfulness to the treatment programme will be a big factor in determining the rapidity with which Candidiasis is defeated.
If Candida overgrowth is not controlled it will continue to spread and break down the body’s ability to fight off other serious diseases.
This text is for information only and should not be taken as personal advice. If you have concerns about your health you should consult your doctor.
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