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Yeast infections have been recognised since the days of Hippocrates but one of the most common non-pathogenic yeasts is Candida Albicans. Candida is a health issue that comes up time and time again as an underlying cause of many of health problems, from skin rashes, weight gain, sinus congestion, and tinea as well as PCO (Poly Cystic Ovarian syndrome), Endometriosis and other menstrual issues including symptoms of menopause for women.
Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that lives within the intestinal organs, skin and mucous membranes of all humans. Yeasts like to live in warm, moist and dark environments, such as the intestines, but when the bodies internal climate changes, Candida Albicans starts to penetrate the lining of the bowel with thin thready roots.
This is called “leaky gut” and it enables toxins to access the bloodstream, other organs (ie: reproductive organs in women). Then the by-product of Candida (methane and acetaldehyde) enters the bloodstream and other warm, moist and dark organs.
Factors that can lead to Candida Albicans overgrowth include taking antibiotics, eating a high sugar diet, high alcohol intake, a weakened immune system, and taking oral contraceptives and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) medications. Symptoms of this Candida overgrowth include skin problems (fungal infections, thrush, body odour, tinea), sensitivities and depleted immune system, wheezing and shortness of breath, sinus and hay fever. Candida will also invade the gastrointestinal tract causing bad breath, constipation, bloating and sometimes diarrhoea.
For women, Candida Albicans can mean menstrual and reproductive problems and recurrent cystitis. Weight gain is another common symptom of Candida albicans out of control in the digestive system.
So, what causes Candida Albicans to expand in such a way it causes health issues?
Because Candida is not a bacterium, it’s a yeast, it survives antibiotic treatments and when antibiotics destroy the good and bad bacteria in the gut, it allows Candida to “overgrow” and run rampant.
The oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy will subtly change the pH of the vagina and reproductive organs and make women more susceptible to issues that relate to candida. Cortisone, an anti-inflammatory drug often given for aches, pains and skin eruptions, will suppress the immune system and its ability to fight bacteria, viruses and yeast.
A common cause of candida overgrowth is a diet of refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries and sugar. Alcoholic drinks that have a high sugar content will also promote the growth of Candida. Sugar “feeds” Candida albicans and helps it to flourish and changes the microflora in the digestive system. Candida Albicans is the vital link between diet and weight gain.
Treating Candida Albicans starts with a change of diet, introducing probiotics to help repopulate the intestinal tract with “good” bacteria and using herbal teas and natural remedies that are anti-fungal. Herbal Teas Australia CANDIDA tea with Pau D’Arco, Calendula, Olive Leaf and Dandelion leaf, which are all anti-fungal herbs, is a good addition to a healthy eating plan.
Starving Candida of its favourite foods can help to restore a better internal ecology. A vegetarian diet can be very helpful (fish is an exception), unrefined grains (avoid yeasted grains) and non-dairy protein are especially beneficial.Taking a probiotic is one of the most important daily medications.If you identify with any of the symptoms, visit your naturopath and discuss what remedies might help.