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Candida Introduction

Very few females will not have heard of candida overgrowth (a.k.a. thrush, candidiasis or dysbiosis) which basically means opportunistic yeast or fungal overgrowth. Overgrowth, like in your garden, means that one species gains ground at the expense of another. So it is, yet again a matter of a balance having gone astray.

It was Dr. Elie Metchnikoff – Director of the Pasteur Institute, Nobel Prize recipient for his work on the link between the immune system and intestinal flora in 1908 – who coined the phrase dysbiosis and I think his terminology reflects the problem best. As you know, there should be a symbiotic balance of health promoting and opportunistic bacteria and fungi throughout the entire digestive tract (on skin epithelium too as it so happens).

Consequently an imbalance can happen throughout the entire digestive tract which, in almost all instances leads to fungal overgrowth. Anyone, especially females, with symptoms such as wind, bloating, disturbed bowel function, rectal itching, non-bacterial cystitis, recurring vaginal thrush (females only obviously) and unexplained fatigue would be suspect to have an abnormal bowel ecology (i.e. have dysbiosis).

Let’s talk through core issues:

Candida Causes: The Surrounding Milieu

You cannot grow rhododendrons in Market Harborough’s own soil, so Nancy Lancaster had cartloads of acid soil brought to Kelmarsh Hall and planted a fine hedge of pink and white rhododendrons that still grace this historic house today. A long enough change in gut pH (acidity/alkalinity balance) allows flora to flourish that likes that particular pH. Next, this flora contributes to and thus perpetuates the environment it likes. In whichever way you kill the harmful bacteria or fungi, you also must improve the gut’s internal environment via diet, lifestyle and a probiotics support regime. Failure to improve the milieu in a sustained way puts opportunistic species in a position to thrive and your health beneficial species in a position of struggle. >> Back to top of page

Candida Causes: ‘Friendly Fire’

Prolonged use of oral, broad spectrum antibiotics may kill an offending bacterium, but these also decimate the health-beneficial bacteria in the bowel ecology, thus shifting the symbiotic balance. Coming back to gardening, weeds for some reason always grow faster than plants. A prolonged prescription of say Tetracycline or Erythromycine for acne neatly paves the way for dysbiosis later on. It is a wise mother who gives her child a substantial course of effective probiotics afterwards (or even during) and a wiser one still who pairs up her probiotic regime with Aloeride®. The contraceptive pill and HRT (hormone replacement therapy) alter levels of female sex hormones and this may be one of the main reasons why 60% of dysbiosis (candidiasis) sufferers are women.

Candida Causes: Prolonged Stress

From Psycho-Neuro-Immunology we know that depression and stress cause the immune system to function less effectively, and a less effective immune system in turn opens the door to dysbiosis, other infections and more.

Stress Management
Prolonged stress and anxiety (in your face or more commonly prolonged in background) depresses your immune system. It triggers the flight or flight mechanism so your adrenal glands increase their corticosteroid output. Now, to put this in perspective, in solid organ transplantation corticosteroids are used for immunosuppression because of their profound effect on the concentration of peripheral white blood cells (lymphocyte, monocyte, basophil counts decrease, while neutrophil counts increase; T-cells lose their ability to proliferate and react to specific antigens). No mistake, stress and anxiety make you immunologically vulnerable.

Increased levels of corticosteroids may cause mood changes ranging from euphoria to depression (just irrational, mini bipolar, pseudo PMS), insomnia (sleep deprivation), jitteriness (pseudo ADHD), impaired glucose tolerance (diabetes), retention of salt and fluid (blood pressure) and increased appetite are common (comfort food eating). In Medicine corticosteroids have long become persona non grata in immunosuppressive regimens. So how are you going to normalise your ongoing fight/flight trigger? If you can’t do it on your own, get outside help. >> Back to top of page

Candida Causes: Diet

A sure route to get and keep candida overgrowth is long term intake of excess empty calories (high-energy foods with poor nutritional profiles such as all refined sugars). Such excess dietary carbohydrates without a proportionate portion of supportive macro- and micronutrients will fuel opportunistic growth. So often this is the first contributor to dysbiosis. I talked about this extensively in the chapter ‘putting diesel in a petrol tank’ in my free ebook. Thank goodness the long term solutions are simple and do-able: use low glycaemic index foods, the paleolithic diet or the specific carbohydrate diet. Food rotation (the type of food you eat today you don’t eat again for another 2 days) works well in mild food sensitivity and may assist candida prevention too. Just stay well clear of bombarding your body with sugary drinks and sugary foods. Ultimately your food intake lifestyle is about making choices.

Candida Causes: Pathogens

You can have fungal type dysbiosis or bacterial type dysbiosis, the former is generally referred to as “candida” which points a finger at Candida albicans but frankly any yeast can ferment as can some bacteria. Did you know that there are some 19 species of Candida alone, want to know what ‘candida’ is precisely?

Candida albicans itself is a ubiquitous commensal yeast of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract which can overgrow into opportunistic infections in various sites, such as the mouth (oral thrush), genital area (genital thrush), intertriginous areas (intertrigo), nails (paronychia) and small intestine. Systemic candidiasis can occur in immuno suppressed patients. Now zoom out for a moment!

Within the genus Candida, fermentation, nitrate assimilation and inositol assimilation may occur. Nitrate assimilation is of particular interest because serum levels of nitrate in patients with active Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and active Crohn’s Disease (CD) differ statistically (are raised) significantly from normal controls. Also a significant positive correlation was found between serum nitrate levels in UC and red blood cell sedimentation rate (ESR), leucocyte and thrombocyte count. These are key pointers for inflammation. So, the by-products and metabolic end-results of Candida are aspect of them causing trouble; in casu: the more candida > the more nitrate > the more irritation/inflammation. On a positive note, inositol compounds may inhibit adenocarcinoma development associated in chronic ulcerative colitis. [data from Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 30, Issue 8 August 1995 , pages 784 – 788]

Next, the genus Candida has the ability to change itself which is called high-frequency switching of colony morphology. Candida tropicalis for instance has even more than one strain-specific switching repertoire. This means that one strain, removed from the blood by say Flucytosine (antifungal) or Amphotericin B (a polyene antifungal antibiotic), can reappear several days later at another site of infection. You can start to see why dysbiosis can be so difficult to eradicate. Here are details of 3 out of 19 species of Candida:

Candida albicans occurs naturally as a commensal of mucous membranes and in the digestive tract of humans and animals. It accounts for up to 70% of Candida species isolated from sites of infection and has been reported as a causative agent of all types of candidiasis.

Candida parapsilosis is an opportunistic human pathogen which may cause both superficial cutaneous infections, especially of the nail and systemic disease, especially endocarditis. Other clinical manifestations include endophthalmitis and fungeamia.

Candida tropicalis is a major cause of septiceamia and disseminated candidiasis, especially in patients with lymphoma, leukemia and diabetes. It is the second most frequently encountered medical pathogen, next to Candida albicans, and is also found as part of the normal human mucocutaneous flora. Sucrose negative variants of C. tropicalis have also been increasingly found in cases of disseminated candidiasis. >> Back to top of page

Candida Testing

Quite beside that perhaps 60% of the gut flora remains to be characterised, it is impossible to take specimens from all parts of the gut and do precise counts of micro-organisms. The best test to confirm dysbiosis is via the chemical result of fermentation: alcohol. Provoking fermentation – if this happens – results in alcohols in the blood (ethanol, methanol, butanol, propanol and short chain fatty acids) which can be measured by gas-liquid chromatography. Via their particular end-products of metabolism, a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) can provide further information about which organisms are present in the gut (bacterial and yeast cultures in stool samples). At a doctor’s special request a CDSA can include parasitology (testing for parasites). Not everyone uses laboratory tests to determine – after medical interview and clinical observation – a state of dysbiosis. Many practitioners arrive at conclusions via symptom questionnaires, Applied Kinesiology, Electro-Dermal Screening, Radionics, or Live blood microscopy. Symptom improvement following sensible remedying is not necessarily a validation of diagnostics used. The most surefooted test still is the above Gut Fermentation Profile with optional CDSA/parasites.

See more about:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Other related conditions: Candida, Food Intolerance, Acid reflux
Reasons to use Aloeride Aloe Vera tablets for a healthy gut, healthier you

Aloe Vera Miracle Cure – A-Z of Diseases

Aloe Vera Miracle Cure

Thank you for visiting Aloe Health Products Website

– Aloe Vera for South Africans

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 3, 2011 4:42 pm

    Let’s be healthy!
    Get the feeling of well-being …. with the 100% pure Aloe Vera product made to pharmaceutical standards at Aloe Vera Africa website.

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