Winning the Battle With Candida & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Tuesday, April 1st 2003
The incidence of yeast infection (Candida and thrush) increases sharply with diets, which are rich in sugar, the use of birth control pills, hormonal changes during each menstrual cycle, the use of cortisone type steroid hormones and antibiotics. Antibiotics, especially "broad spectrum", make yeasts grow "like grass and weeds after summer rain". Such drugs destroy the good bacteria as well as killing the bad ones - yeasts then multiply.
Candida albicans is a yeast which is a single cell fungi normally living in the body and more especially the intestines. Oral candidiasis occurs in the mouth, thrush occurs in the vagina and men can experience itching in the genital and anal areas. They are not new. Textbooks of paediatrics of the 1700 and 1800's described thrush.
The cause can be traced back to an infection treated with antibiotics and a compromised immune system. The result is increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome). This permeability creates allergic reactions in individual people to many foods including wheat, dairy, artificial additives and other foods.
Specific nutrients are needed to assist the healing of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Until that healing takes place, symptoms will continue.
How does Candida affect the immune system?
Candida is normally found in the body and when the immune system is strong the balance is maintained between Candida and the good bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifido bacteria. But, when Candida increase in number and change into their mycelial form with root like growths which contributes to leaky gut syndrome, toxins are released which weaken the immune system. While in the search for food, these mycelial yeasts can penetrate the lining of the intestine. They then send out toxic waste products from their reproduction. Due to the damage to the intestinal wall, they allow other toxins into the blood stream. These toxic products can create serious dysfunction in virtually any system of the body. When the immune system is weakened the "defenders" which line the cavities of the body become ineffective. The next step is nose, throat, sinus, ear, bronchial, bladder and other infections. After that there is often a visit to the doctor who prescribes an antibiotic. In turn this promotes additional Candida yeast growth and so the cycle continues.
General symptoms may include:
Frequent infections; feeling tired or drowsiness; feeling anxious, irritable and experiencing insomnia; craving sugary foods, bread or alcohol; various food sensitivities, allergic reactions or digestive problems; feeling "spacy" - trouble concentrating, thinking through "cotton wool"; poor coordination, muscle weakness or painful or swollen joints; mood swings, depression or loss of sexual feelings; dry mouth or throat, catarrh, frequent headaches; pains in chest, shortness of breath, dizziness.
Candida overgrowth may appear as fatigue, poor memory, moodiness, intestinal gas, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, diverticulitis, abdominal bloating, rapid weight gain or loss and reactions to chemicals.
Candida overgrowth and chronic fatigue appear to occur in some people simultaneously.
Symptoms for women: vaginal burning or itching, discharge, infections, urinary problems; difficulty getting pregnant, have been pregnant two or more times or have taken the contraceptive pill; menstrual problems or irregular cycles or other menstrual problems.
Symptoms for children: frequent infections, particularly of the ears, tonsils, bronchitis, history of frequent nappy rash, continuous stuffy or runny nose, dark circles under the eyes, hyperactivity or poor attention span.
FOUR STEP CANDIDA
Before anything else - Stop feeding the yeast and check your nutrition.
The basis of any anti-Candida, CFS regime is correct nutrition.
Water is essential - try and have at least 6 to 8 large glasses daily. This not only helps the kidneys function better but it also helps flushes toxins out of the body.
Foods to avoid: all sugar including fresh fruit, dried fruit, fruit juices, sugar, honey, fructose, battery eggs and chickens, alcohol, wine and yoghurt.
Foods to use: raw and cooked vegetables, grains, meats and fish, free range eggs and poultry, beans and legumes, soups, seeds and nuts (excluding peanuts) and rice cakes. Whole grain bread that has been toasted is often acceptable. Each person will have individual food sensitivities, which will need to be taken into account.
STEP 1 - Killing the excess Candida
Caprylic acid was first investigated for anti-fungal use in 1938-39 but it wasn't until the 1980's that its use became widespread and accepted. At low doses it shows a fungistatic action by inhibiting the separation of yeast buds from the parent Candida cell. At higher doses it destroys the integrity of the cell wall causing the cell to leak and collapse. Caprylic acid usually binds to the Candida cells and begins its action within 5 minutes of contact.
Reactions such as headaches can occur during the first few days due to the die-off effect of the Candida. This is only temporary and indicates that the caprylic acid is working. If this occurs and is too debilitating, discontinue for 24 hours and have plenty of water to flush the dead yeast cells out of the body.
Radiance® CandAid is a combination product which includes Caprylic Acid and herbs including Black Walnut, Oregano Oil, Garlic, Wormwood, Cat's claw and Olive leaf has proven effective at controlling candidiasis.
STEP 2. Repairing the intestines
Repair of the intestines is critical. Radiance Colostrum Capsules provide nutrients to help repair the intestinal lining where candida has caused leaky gut syndrome. Colostrum helps the growth of the intestinal villi and with this growth and repair allergies reduce and nutrients are absorbed better from food.
STEP 3. Restoring the intestinal balance
It is vitally important that the intestines are repopulated quickly with the correct mix of "good" bacteria. Nature's Way Primadophilus capsules range are the only proven effective enteric coated acidophilus and bifidus capsules on the New Zealand market containing combinations of proven strains. The enteric coating is essential to ensure that all the acidophilus and bifidus get into the intestines rather than being digested in the stomach. Yoghurt doesn't work effectively because the body treats it as food and the bacteria numbers are too low.
STEP 4 - Rebuilding the Immune System
The immune system that has been damaged by the Candida overgrowth can be helped by using other natural remedies (see separate articles on Pau d'Arco herb and Radiance Colostrum) and also Radiance® CandAid .
Reproduced unabridged from the February/ March 2003 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Candida:
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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