By Thelma Ledford
Candida Albicans: Have you noticed that you have become very hypersensitive to small levels of common chemicals, such as, gas fumes, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides, etc.? Are you experiencing multiple discomforts that your doctor is unable to pinpoint? Have these vague symptoms been diagnosed as psychosomatic, or simply stress-related? Were you sent home just as discouraged as you came, because routine tests revealed nothing?
You may be one of a multitude of people who are having an invasion of yeast. The culprit—Candida Albicans, a type of fungus—creating minor conditions, such as, vaginitis, skin rashes, headaches, irritability, digestive problems, allergies, and depression; sometimes there is a general sense of “spaciness” and a feeling of loss of balance.
This condition can affect males and females, but more often the female. A reoccurring of vaginitis or yeast infections may indicate Candida, and the beginning of Candida Albicans. We all have yeast in our bodies, but a weaken immune system does not control the stuff. Candida-related illnesses have plagued women for years.
It wasn’t until l968 that anyone in the medical profession was able to connect an overgrowth of yeast with a host of symptoms and complaints; fifteen years later William G. Crook, MD. Published “The Yeast Connection.” There is also a mini-booklet.
Candida Albicans occurs naturally in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal, genitourinary tracts, and on the skin. Most of us have yeast growing in our bodies by six months of age. Candida yeasts share the intestines with billions of bacteria which perform many necessary functions, such as, producing vitamins and lowering cholesterol. Yeast will compete for space and food with the “good” bugs (intestinal flora), in the digestive tract.
If we have a healthy immune system and plenty of healthy intestinal floras, our system will keep yeast under control. In such cases, Candida yeast is present in very small numbers. We know of no benefit from these yeasts. They seem to live off us, but are basically harmless; however, anything promoting yeast growth can lead to an imbalance and trigger a yeast-related disease.
Candidiasis usually progresses in a very systematic way, and escalates in four stages. First, imbalances begin taking place in the digestive tract (good/bad bacteria). Next, the Candida begins to dominate the intestinal environment, and people develop symptoms such as heartburn, gas, bloating, anal itching, and vaginitis. As body defenses weaken, Candida and other fungi can infect other areas causing athlete’s foot, jock itch, skin, and nail infections—even itchy ears.
Although yeast cannot invade bodily tissues directly the way bacteria and viruses can, like other fungi, it produces root-like structures that penetrate the lining of the gut. This kind of damage provides a place for incompletely digested dietary proteins to enter the bloodstream—the leaky gut syndrome. The body may recognize it as an enemy and respond by developing allergic reactions to that particular food. Candida sufferers are plagued by multiple food sensitivities, a condition that creates a vicious circle of immune suppression, symptoms, and allergies.
Next, as Candidiasis progresses, yeast cells attach themselves to mucous membrane surfaces, form a colony and become a fuzzy growth like mold on bread. As their roots penetrate the tissues, searching for nutrients, the yeast produces toxins that damage the tissue and cause inflammation Any tissue that has been colonized by yeast will be plagued with symptoms—vaginitis, diarrhea, heartburn, or “thrush” (yeast in the mouth). Yeast cells can also show up in the sinuses, ears, and eyes.
As these toxins circulate through the bloodstream, they can trigger symptoms in distance parts of the body. This can result in conditions diverse as asthma, sinusitis, lupus, PMS, and kidney stones. The damage to the brain can cause fuzzy thinking, while skin damage will cause itching and rashes.
As the immune system weakens the body becomes hypersensitive to otherwise low levels of common chemicals. It becomes so overwhelmed that it can produce antibodies against its own tissues causing conditions like severe PMS. Another set of symptoms occurs when a yeast infection involves the central nervous and mental symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, confusion, and lethargy begin. Finally, in advanced cases the body develops symptoms of organ and hormone dysfunction. Most common being hypothyroidism, followed by adrenal failure, but any organ can be involved. Children may have Candida. In children, the symptoms usually start with chronic ear infections and colic, A.D.D. and A.D.H.D.
What starts this kind of yeast invasion? This is the result of modern living. Yeast grows for two reasons: something feeds it, or something suppresses the immune system, rendering the body incapable of controlling it. Many modern products in our lifestyles encourage Candida Albicans. Even emotional trauma! Antibiotics are thought to be the single greatest culprit, because they kill the “good” bacteria as well as the “bad.” Natural methods of treating health problems should be used except in life-threatening cases.
Have you ever made “yeast” bread? Sugar feeds the yeast causing it to grow. Yeast loves sugar. White sugar is the perfect yeast food. It also suppresses the immune system. How does one counter the attack? Getting control of the yeast requires a holistic approach to your total lifestyle. The world—and our bodies with it—are covered with yeast, and you will never be able to kill enough of the fungus to escape it. Only by adjusting your diet, de-stressing your lifestyle, and supporting your immune system can you conquer Candida.
Whole foods will nourish you—not yeast. No sugar! You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? The more you minimize simple carbohydrates (sugars) in favor of complex (sugars) carbohydrates, the better. Even fruit may have to be curtailed for a while, and some cannot even tolerate high-starchy vegetables like potatoes for a short time. I even had to avoid wheat for three months; I made a 3,100-mile trip while avoiding wheat. It was not an easy thing to do, but I did it!
Food craving can be a big problem when you are full of yeast. You will feel a tremendous pressure to feed the fungus with sugar.
Eating sugar is like throwing kerosene on a fire. To help stop cravings, Dr. Crook recommends protein, such as raw nuts, or baked tofu. You can often be addicted to the very foods that produce the allergic reactions. You surely will have some classic withdrawal cravings without those foods. There is a possibility that you will need some help to overcome this disease, but drugs are not the answer. I know this is what happened to me. I have included my testimony.
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