Difficulty losing weight? Uncontrollable sugar cravings? Chronic fatigue? Allergies? High Cholesterol? Grind your teeth at night? Depression? White tongue? Hives? Digestive issues? Bloating?
These are just some of the many symptoms that point toward a Candida Albicans fungal overgrowth–systemic yeast. Some people experience multiple symptoms, but not all of them. I’ve found that the majority of the people I talk to about Candida are not aware that it could be slowing them down. It’s linked to many health issues, but is virtually unaddressed by healthcare providers. Some physicians speculate that 20% of the US population has some level of overgrowth, while others say that the percentage is much higher. Like between 80-90%. To find out if you could have Candida Albicans overgrowth, go here to take a symptom test: http://www.road-to-health.com/am/publish/article_150.shtml. If you can find a physician who performs “Live Cell” blood analysis, you will actually see the yeast floating around your blood stream, as in the video below.
The Standard America Diet [SAD], hygiene products, cleaning products, and popular healthcare practices are believed to contribute to this condition. The top causes linked to candida include, but are not limited to the following:
1] Overuse of antibiotics: prescribed, used in the food supply [commercial meat & chicken], soaps, etc.
2] Prescribed steroids: oral or injected.
3] Pesticide exposure from the environment, cosmetics, foods, etc.
4] Use of birth control pills
For a more extensive list of causes and explanation, go to the Modern Herbalist at http://www.modernherbalist.com/influences.html
All of these substances kill off and/or upset the good bacteria called probiotics [pro-life] in the digestive system. Probiotics are needed to keep the healthy yeast in the large intestines in balance. Once probiotics are killed off by exposure to the above culprits, the yeast mutates and grows out of control, burrowing through the intestinal wall, and going freely throughout the body as a poison. This wrecks havoc on the immune system leading to many chronic illnesses, diseases and/or conditions. Candida is toxic to the human body, and so is it’s waste product. The additional toxins from this fungus puts a heavy load on the liver, interfering with metabolism and the normal daily detoxification of the body. It is believed by many in the naturopathic medical field that illness is created when toxins out number viable nutrients. The Standard American Diet [SAD] is nutrient poor. The SAD if filled with substances that kill probiotics, have abundant calories with little to no nutritional value, and are full of more toxins. This makes people sick, and sicker, often contributing to weight issues, lethargy, and a life side-tracked by illness.
The first line of combat is to change your food regime. Candida thrives on all things sweet and starchy. The goal is to starve the fungus, then use an anti-fungal agent to kill it off. You want to first avoid the following foods for at least 4 weeks, and often longer, depending on how long and prolific your condition. These are the foods you should avoid:
1] Table sugar, honey, agave nectar, molasses, syrup, etc
2] Refined foods
3] Most fruits and fructose
4] Sweet vegetables
5] Grains, including breads, crackers, rice, pasta, etc
6] All starch
7] Anything sweet, except Stevia.
Once the overgrowth has taken place, and has been allowed to proliferate for a while, it’s not an easy fix. Yet, changes in diet over the long haul will dramatically reduce the level of candida in your body, leading to weight-loss, better over-all health, and a more lively temple of God.
Candida overgrowth is bigger than a single article, but my goal is to enlighten you to a possible health issue that could keep you from living a vibrant life. Here are some sites with thorough resources, information, and options to help you prevent and/or combat candida, leading to better health in 2012. If you believe you have Candida Albicans overgrowth, I encourage you to find a naturopathic physician who can assist the elimination of this fungus, and help you to create a healthy, thriving environment for your body to heal itself.
The following links are a three part series by Nourished Magazine. It offers the most extensive research and plan of attack that I’ve come across.
For more information, go to:
Candida: The Fungus Among Us
The Yeast Connection
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
*I am not a physician, and nor do not promote or sell products discussed or advertised on these sites. Seek medical attention from a qualified provider for conditions that concern you.