Candidiasis – Fungal Infection
Candida is usually controlled by friendly gut flora, our immune defence system and intestinal pH. When the bacteria that normally balance Candida are killed, it causes whats commonly known as a yeast infection because it produces a smell like yeasty bread. Its called a yeast infection in the vagina, a fungal infection on the nail beds and the eyes and thrush in the throat. Candida albicans is the usual offender, but other species of Candida fungus may cause health problems as well. Candida, amongst other large intestine bugs, can be tested for with a comprehensive digestive stool analysis (CDSA).
Candida can also colonise in the digestive tract, causing havoc everywhere in the body. Candida colonies produce powerful toxins that absorb into the bloodstream and affect our immune system, hormone balance and thought processes. The most common symptoms are abdominal bloating, anxiety, constipation or diarrhoea (or both), depression, environmental sensitivities, fatigue, feeling worse on damp or muggy days or in mouldy places, food sensitivities, fuzzy thinking, insomnia, low blood sugar, mood swings, premenstrual syndrome, reoccurring vaginal or bladder infections, ringing in the ears and sensitivities to perfume, cigarettes or fabric odours. Although these symptoms are the most prevalent, Candida has many faces and many types of symptoms can occur. Your GP will recognise Candida in many forms but in general they have been unwilling to recognise it in a systemic form. Of those that do, its a common diagnosis. In my own experience, I found Candida to be present in a vast number of patients but one thing to be mindful of is Candida is not necessarily a cause; it is a sign of a disregulated immune system. Therefore, the key to eliminating Candida is to improve innate immunity and gastrointestinal immunity whilst looking at leaky gut.
Candida infections are usually triggered by the use of antibiotics, birth control pills, steroid medications and consumption of sugar. These drugs change the balance of the intestinal tract, killing the bacteria that keep Candida in check, and fungus quickly takes hold. Candida are like bullies that push their way into the intestinal lining, destroying cells and brush borders. Greater numbers of Candida produce greater numbers of toxins which further irritate and break down the intestinal lining.