Its really only over recent decades that the full significance of candida albicans, the worst of the varieties, and probably the commonest, has been appreciated. It used to be thought that it was limited to small children whose bottles werent properly sterilised, or to women or was merely a cause of rashes and nail infections.
But candida is an endemic, silent destroyer, because wherever the immune system is compromised, candida will rear its ugly head. Candida is a fungus, which has a relatively innocuous resting state, and a really nasty active state, where it bores its way into and through tissues in order to reproduce its evil self. When it does this, you get all the usual expected symptoms; but if it has taken over the intestines, or indeed other tissues, it can cause all sorts of on-going problems. Boring its way through the lining of the small intestine, it opens channels, causing only partly digested foodstuffs to enter the circulation, which in their partly digested state, stimulate allergic response of the immune system.
This is horribly inconvenient, since as time goes on, you become allergic to all sorts of different foods which previously had no effect. Moreover, candida has another sinister role to play. It is normally kept in check by beneficial bacteria in the small intenstine; the good guys. These include lactose bacillus, bacteroides and bifido bacteria, which, in addition to keeping our insides healthy, have a part to play in the integrity of our immune systems. The presence of candida, and the toxins it produces, has the effect of edging out these good guys, and replacing them with the mob. These include klebsiella, pseudomonas, and clostridia; when this happens, it is called dysbiosis.
DYSBIOSIS is bad news since it inevitably means that intestinal health is damaged and the overall immune system compromised. In addition, this situation promotes leaky gut. The leaky gut syndrome means (1) antigens passing into the blood stream (2) pathogens also entering the blood stream, (3) toxins similarly and (4) undigested food in the blood.
We are likely, as a result, to suffer from inflammatory autoimmune and allergic diseases. Probably the most common presentation of this is the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in its various guises and it is possible that Crohns Disease may have its original cause in this process. The entrance of toxins means an over-load situation on a liver already in trouble from low metabolism.
Candida has a lot to answer for and we should do all we can to eliminate it as far as possible; however good the treatment of the thyroid and adrenal problems, candida will prevent proper response and recovery.
Its treatment falls into four sections. First, you try to starve it out. Candida thrives on sugar so much so it can actually make you crave sugar and starch. Its impossible to eliminate carbohydrates completely, but you can cut out all refines sugars and starches, and have high fibre fruit and vegetables the complex carbohydrates. Second, we must try to kill the candida with fungicide. Nystatin has long been popular; another is Sporonox. I recommend, partly for the sake of simplicity, Fluconazole (without prescription), 1 x 150mg weekly for 2 or 3 weeks, which can be very effective. More so if combined with Caprylic Acid or Grapefruit Seed Extract, Garlic or Horopito. Essential is the provision of the beneficial bacteria to replace the mob; these are the pre-and pro biotics which contain millions of the beneficial bacteria and the food to feed them. All health food shops and recommend effective recommendations.
You have to go on with the treatment for weeks, or even months; the good news is that as your metabolism comes back to normal, it will control re-infection, an ever-present risk (worsenend by antibiotics, the pill and phyto-oestrogens). You may have several days of feeling really awful when there is a massive candida die-off. Dont worry; it will pass and proves that the need was great.
To test for Candida, there is the old fashioned test often used by Nutritionists where you have a good spit into a glass of water on waking. If your spit starts to form tails and looks like a small jellyfish, there is a good chance that candida is present. To confirm this, you can do a salivary antibody test, which is a most reliable way of making a diagnosis. These tests are available from private laboratory at Genova Diagnostics Ltd but you need to register for membership of the main thyroid forum in order to get the discount allowed to TPA members.
Many symptoms can indicate CANDIDIASIS, which can include:
Vaginal yeast infection
Lack of concentration
Low immune function
Many things can be pre-disposing factors to Candidiasis. These may include:
Birth control pills
Impaired liver function
AIDS or Cancer