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Eating for Better Health
Identifying Candida Symptoms
Candida is nearly an epidemic in our
society and is responsible for many of the chronic illness categories
we see so frequently. Candida symptoms are vast
and all encompassing and can even
incapacitate the individual.
Most people are unaware that it even
exists, because most main stream doctors are uneducated about its
impact on our health. People suffering from this condition often go from
doctor to doctor for years and are usually told they are a
hypochondriac or that it is stress or a psychiatric problem, before
ever discovering the real culprit.
Candida Albicans is a yeast that occurs naturally in the human body, but it is only one of many different types of fungus that can be problematic.
Normally it lives in harmony with a variety of other
microorganisms and actually performs a couple important functions. The problem occurs when something upsets the balance of bacteria in the body and this allows the yeast organism to proliferate and take over all the healthy microorganisms.
It normally resides in the intestinal tract, mouth, throat and genitals, however it can burrow holes in the intestinal tract, enter the blood stream and then make it's way into any organ of the body. To make matters worse it emits over 70 different toxins into the body. Some people may even become allergic to the yeast itself.
Once this hardy organism proliferates in the body, it wrecks havoc in
many ways and is the initiator of many common maladies, conditions,
syndromes and illnesses in our population.
Some of the most frequent
Candida symptoms are:
One of the most well known forms of yeast is the vaginal
yeast infection.However, it may play a role in just about any mental health condition or chronic illness you can think of. Yeast overgrowth is considered to be a leading contributor in alcoholism, anxiety disorders, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, addisons disease, mcs - multiple chemical sensitivities, crohns, autism, cfs - chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, pms, endometriosis,fms - fibromyalgia syndrome, prostatitis, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, asthma, food allergies, muscle and joint pain, clinical depression, repeated urinary tract infections, hormonal imbalances, migraines, digestive disturbances, difficult menopause psoriasis, lupus, chronic pain, tourette's, vulvodynia, rheumatoid arthritis and many more.
- abdominal gas and bloating
- excessive fatigue
- cravings for alcohol
- rectal itching
- cravings for sweets
- inability to think clearly or concentrate
- mood swings
- sinus inflammation
- pre-menstrual syndrome
- poor memory
- persistent cough
- low sex drive
- muscle weakness
- learning difficulties
- sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals
- cognitive impairment
- athlete's foot
- sore throat
- acid reflux
- chronic pain
Men may like to read the Candida symptoms in males section
for additional information about some of the unique aspects that apply to them, but be sure to return back here
for the majority of material is found here.
Like all microbes, Candida builds biofilms to protect itself from your immune system and avoid antifungals. The biofilm becomes a safe haven that allows it to proliferate, travel throughout and the body and build resistance. Yeast cells that are part of a biofilm can be 1000 times more resistant to antifungals than those that are outside a biofilm.
The brain is the organ that is most frequently
affected by Candida Symptoms, but it also has profound negative effects on these systems:
Candida symptoms can vary from one person to another and often move
back and forth between systems within the same individual. One
day you may experience symptoms in the musculoskeletal system and the
next day it could be the digestive system ,etc.
There are a variety of causes of candida, but the two leading contributors are a diet high in sugar and refined foods and the overuse of antibiotics.
First and foremost you want to refrain from taking antibiotics unless
it is absolutely necessary. Try to find other healthy
alternatives to infections etc., but of course there may be times when
it can’t be avoided. If you must take an antibiotic for some
reason, you should always be sure to take an acidophilus supplement
during the course of the treatment. This will help keep healthy
bacteria present in your body.
Taking a good probiotic on a daily basis is one of the best defenses against yeast overgrowth and it promotes a healthy colon.
The second most important factor in reducing Candida symptoms is to
follow a Candida diet. A diet
in sugar is a haven for
yeast. It's crucial to eliminate sugars and refined foods to reduce overgrowth. Initially even fruits and high
carbohydrate foods may need to be eliminated and then reintroduced to
the diet later as you get better. Meat, eggs and low carbohydrate vegetables
are what is best to stick with and a small amount of nuts, seeds and low sugar fruit. If you need some
what to eat, you may enjoy the Candida
diet recipes page.
Most people with yeast overgrowth are also suffering from nutritional
deficiencies and correcting your deficiencies can help you in your
battle over Candida symptoms. There are a variety of other supplements that may be beneficial as well, but it varies from person to person.
Some of the most effective and popular natural health approaches used in the
treatment of Candida symptoms include products like food grade hydrogen peroxide, caprylic acid, oregano oil, garlic, taheebo
tea, grapefruit seed extract and colloidal silver. Prescription based antifungals like Nystatin, Diflucan or Nizoral may be obtained by a physician, but carry a few risks.
It is also essential to keep your home environment healthy and
not-toxic. Chemicals weaken the immune system and if the immune
system is weak this also allows the yeast to proliferate. So
keeping your home chemical free by using non-toxic and natural cleaning
supplies, personal care products etc. will help your body stay stronger.
A good holistic Candida cleanse is the most powerful way to relieve
symptoms and improve your health.
Many people find the use of a good colon cleanse like enemas to be helpful in eradicating or reducing their
symptoms. These can be either plain water, or mixed with Nystatin or
colon health is crucial for reducing yeast overgrowth.
Nystatin is a prescription
drug that can be obtained from a physician. It is a non-toxic
drug that is not absorbed into the blood stream and is very helpful
with yeast in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. It can also be used as a douche if you are
experiencing vaginal itching from yeast.
One very popular treatment product is called Threelac. You may want to
read my review and experience with this product before trying it
There are many different treatment approaches and products on the market today and this can be very confusing. To make things more difficult, not all practitioners treating this condition have a well rounded picture of what's needed for success. It's important that you have a thorough understanding of the complexities of Candida yourself and the most effective way to approach treatment before trying any particular remedy. By randomly choosing products without understanding the true nature of this beast it can actually hinder your progress in eliminating yeast overgrowth. If you're looking for a quick read that will cover all the bases for you and get you on the right path from the very start, you may want to take a look at"Candida Secrets."
During any treatment approach most people experience a temporary worsening of
die off. This is a normal
part of the healing process, however it can be overwhelming and steps should be taken
to minimize the negative effects.
The immune system is often compromised in an individual with yeast overgrowth. They may be low in natural killer cells or other lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages or other phagocytes, all of which seek out and destroy pathogens like yeast, as well as bacteria, parasites, viruses, cancer cells, toxins or other foreign invaders. Immunoglobulins, (antibodies) particularly IgA, which defends the mucosal linings in the body, like the gastrointestinal tract, vagina, ears, nose, eyes, and breathing passages, from invaders like microbes, animal dander and cancer cells are often low as well. Therefore, strengthening the immune system will enhance our bodies own natural born defenses against yeast.
Candida almost always occurs in conjunction with intestinal parasites and unfriendly pathogenic bacteria, and these need to be eliminated as well, or they keep the vicious cycle going. One should treat for all of them at the same time. Parasites can actually be the primary problem and yeast may be secondary.
Parasites and bacteria excrete a variety of harmful toxins like ammonia that kill off your friendly flora, damage the gut wall, inhibit nutrient absorption, weaken your immune response, degrade the intestinal tract, and impair digestive enzymes, all of which allows the opportunistic yeast to proliferate like a weed. Parasites can also contribute to hypoglycemia and nutritional deficiencies, because they will consume your nutrients and glucose as well.
It is also believed that parasites may actually harbor the yeast organisms inside them, thus one of the reasons it is so difficult to eliminate overgrowth. If this is the case, then getting rid of the parasites is essential to overcoming overgrowth so that it does not serve as a safe haven for the yeast to hide. Candida cells can also bind to bacteria.
Do You Have Candida?
There are a variety of Candida tests that practitioners use to diagnose yeast overgrowth, that may include stool tests, blood tests, live blood cell tests, etc., but the truth is that none of these tests are really reliable. They may or may not detect an infection of Candidiasis.
The simple most effective way to know if you have a yeast problem is by your symptoms. The very best and most accurate test to identify yeast overgrowth is the written questionnaire that you can find in Dr. Crook's book called "The Yeast Connection."
Another very popular test that many natural health practitioners use is called the "spit test." However, I would like to point out that some health practitioners do not feel this test is reliable. It has a high rate of false negatives and false positives. Personally, I do not advocate the spit test, but you will find other practitioners who stand behind it whole heartedly. So, I am going to provide the directions below in case you're interested, but please be aware of its potential limits. Here's how you do it:
As soon as you wake up in the morning before you put anything in your mouth, get a glass of water in a clear glass that you can see through. Don't use tap water.
Collect saliva in your mouth with your tongue and spit it into the glass.
Now keep an eye on your saliva in the glass for the next 15 minutes and observe what it does.
According to advocates of this method, if you see any of the following, then it indicates the presence of yeast colonies:
See the picture below for guidance.
- Your saliva stays at the top and you see thin strands that look like strings or spider legs extending downward.
- Your saliva floats to the bottom and looks cloudy.
- Your saliva is suspended in mid-air and looks like little specs are floating.
Again, I would like to point out that I do not feel the spit test is the most reliable means of identifying a yeast problem. I strongly encourage you to take the written questionnaire in Dr. Crooks book.
Candida is really an insidious, tricky yeast and once you have
overgrowth it can be extremely difficult to get under control. It
takes a lot of patience, education and persistence. I know this
all to well, as I faced this struggle myself for many years.
If you need to
talk to someone who understands, you may find my holistic health phone
counseling to be helpful. I can give you tips and advice on
supplementation, treatment options, coping and adjustment, lifestyle
changes or whatever you may want to talk about.
There are several excellent books listed at the bottom of this
page to guide you along your way and even if you don’t have a
Candida problem these books are excellent pieces of education on the
growing incidence of this devastating, yet rarely acknowledged syndrome.
It's also best to find an alternative health doctor who has a complete
and thorough understanding of Candida symptoms and its impact on health
to guide you if you are just beginning to learn.
This book saved my life! Highly recommended.
*The Missing Diagnosis (Orion Truss, M.D.)
The Yeast Syndrome (Trowbridge,M.D. and Walker)
The Yeast Connection (William Crook)