A Love Story - Candida Loves Sugar

Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis are common yeasts that thrive within your intestines and mucous membranes, like in your throat, for example. Your pets have Candida, your children have Candida, you have Candida, Aunt Maria and granny all have Candida - everyone has Candida within them: we are all born with it.

Candida's function in the body is mainly to destroy all putrefied food matter in our digestive tract before any potentially harmful bacteria can have a feast on it, multiply, and then become threatening to our health.

So why do some people suffer with Candida, while others do not?

When the gastrointestinal "good" bacteria, like acidophilus and bifido bacteria, and your immune system are healthy, Candida is kept in check. But food chemicals, artificial sweeteners, processed oils, processed high fructose corn syrups, processed sugars, and processed pharma-drugs cause a population burst and Candida grows out of control - hum, processed everything people are eating and drinking all-day-every-day. So even though Candida is naturally present in the body, it can cause problems if there is an overgrowth, resulting in Candidiasis. When this happens, the yeast branches out with hardened spiny tendrils that puncture the intestinal wall; then yeast begins colonizing outside of your gut in other parts of your body.

It is common knowledge that prolonged use of antibiotics play a major role in the development of Candidiasis. Antibiotics eradicate bad bacteria that cause certain diseases and infections, but while they destroy the bad bacteria and stop the spread of infection, they also destroy the good bacteria that keep the Candida in your body under control. So, prolonged use of strong doses of antibiotics can lead to an imbalance in your gut flora, and this allows bad bacteria and yeast to overgrow.

If your digestion is inefficient, if you aren't properly eliminating body wastes, or if your pH is too acidic, Candida can spread into your bloodstream and deposit in other tissues and mucous membranes, like in your throat (also known as thrush), in your nasal passages, and in your gut. You may then become distended, constipated; allergies may begin to form, skin rashes and adult asthma symptoms may occur. What would once be considered normally benign yeast has literally morphed into an aggressive, destructive, fungal pathogen that can cause a variety of health problems from head to toe; often perplexing traditional doctors.

Because Candida is naturally occurring intestinal yeast, traditional medical doctors typically do not recognize its overgrowth as a cause of endometriosis, allergies, depressed immunity, many chronic illnesses, or brain "fog." But Candida can spread throughout your body and it loves to grow within the nooks and crannies where it is moist and dark. Candida can even penetrate into your brain.

When doctors tell you that you have sinusitis instead of yeast in your nasal passages, they typically prescribe antibiotics. The antibiotics, in turn, kill the intestinal bacteria that controls Candida, the cause of your sinus irritation. If the Candida is never controlled, your sinus problems will continue to reoccur, and this creates a chronic demand for more drugs, more doctors' visits, new drugs, different drugs, asthma medications, inhalers and eventually COPD oxygen ventilators and steroids. Why? - because your sinus problems never were diagnosed or treated correctly.

Before the onslaught of diet sweeteners and the insertion of over 10,000 processed food chemicals in the American food supply, a common reaction to an overgrowth of Candida may have been a vaginal yeast infection in women or jock-itch or athlete's foot. And even though you don't have yeast infections or jock-itch, you may still have an overgrowth of yeast. Many cases of endometriosis are actually just an overgrowth of Candida inside the uterus, but hundreds of thousands of women have surgically had their uterus removed when simply cleaning the organ of yeast may have been all that was needed. Before you have extreme health surgeries done or commit to long-term antibiotic use, try a cleanse for yeast.

The symptoms of candidiasis vary from person to person, but the more common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue after eating
  • Feelings of aggression and anger after eating
  • Depression
  • Craving simple carbs, like those in bread and sugar
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feeling "intoxicated" after eating a meal high in carbohydrates
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Excessive mucous in the throat, nose, and lungs
  • Fungal infections of the skin
  • Jock itch
  • Athlete's foot
  • Vaginal infections and drainage
  • Oral thrush
  • Diarrhea
  • Anal itching
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Feeling "spacey"
  • Bloating after eating
  • Flatulence after eating

When the overgrowth of Candida becomes chronic and occurs for more than 10-years, the following symptoms may result:

  • Lymphatic swelling
  • Difficult PMS
  • Night sweats
  • Chest and joint pain
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Intense and random headaches
  • Intermittent vertigo
  • Insomnia
  • Sneezing fits
  • Increased food allergies
  • Sensitivity to damp, mildewed or extreme humid environments
  • Sensitivity to perfumes, colognes, and smoke
  • Acute kidney infections

How to Prevent Candidiasis

Diet is your main defense against Candida, but you will more than likely have to give up a number of your favorite foods, sugary foods and drinks. Once you have gotten your yeast overgrowth under control, nevertheless, you can introduce some of these foods back into your diet, but always limit your intake of any food that feeds yeast, like alcohol, sugar and diet sweeteners. Permanently remove all toxic food chemicals and highly processed food products, and seek healthy product brands, organic foods, and eat smaller portions at each meal.

Avoid or limit:

  • Sugar, refined and simple sugars
  • Wheat and rye
  • Milk and cheese
  • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
  • Potatoes
  • Honey
  • Mushrooms
  • Vinegars

Keep your food well covered in the refrigerator to prevent mold from forming. When eating out, don't hesitate to ask how the dish is prepared and tell the server to serve ingredients like soy sauce or mayonnaise on the side.

If you struggle with Candida, eating a low carbohydrate diet is best. Carbohydrates, even healthy complex carbs, break down into glucose (sugar) in the digestive tract, and sugar feeds Candida. All sugars MUST be avoided, but everyone must live as normal a life as possible - with or without Candida. When you occasionally "slip up" and eat the foods that promote Candida overgrowth, make sure to supplement with the products available to assist in digesting any overgrowth of yeast.

I highly recommend taking high-end Caprylic acid supplements. My lab makes an excellent product called Yeast-Ex that works well to remove excess yeast. Nature's Sunshine also has a good product called Caprylic Acid Combination. These supplements are great to use when you can't avoid foods or drinks that feed Candida - like during the holiday season.

The following foods are your best choices when on a Candida diet, and note that you'll lose weight*.

  • Fish, poultry, and lean red meat
  • Most vegetables - limit the amount of squashes, such as pumpkin
  • Brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Seeds and all nuts, except cashews and peanuts
  • Beans and lentils
  • Organic milks, but modify the amount of milk from cows
  • Amaranth, kamut, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, and spelt

* Cleansing Candida and eating foods that properly pass through your digestive tract and out in the toilet typically mean weight loss.

Contrary to popular belief, foods containing yeast may be eaten if no allergic reactions occur. Brewer's yeast, for example, is a very nutritious and immune-enhancing food. Don't fear your food - learn what works for you and what doesn't.

As your Candida symptoms disappear, you can reintroduce some of the "forbidden foods", but add them one at a time and very slowly. The major rule of thumb concerning Candida is to limit all your foods containing sugar. Indulging in too many foods too quickly can cause a relapse, and you might want to remain cautious for the rest of your life. But that's not so bad - you are committed to eating a healthier diet that keeps your weight down, naturally.

You can learn to love that, you think?

Posted December 2008 | Permanent Link

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