Causes of Candida
In a healthy body Candida Albicans is a micro-organism that lives in our gut and naturally helps to digest the food we eat. Normally its presance aids our system, however, there is a condition called Candidiasis that occurs when there is an excess growth of Candida.
It is important to recognise that Candida is not something that you contract like a virus or a cold but in fact an imbalance.
What causes Candida? Due to the limited research that we have at this point there are no clearly defined causes as it seems to have a wide range triggers in different people. However, recent recognition of Candidiasis by the medical community is now highlighting patterns that show lifestyle factors and medical treatments to be likely contributing factors.
Antibiotics and Candida
Antibiotics are now being recognised as a trigger in many cases of Candida overgrowth. Antibiotics are prescribed when the bodies defences are being overwhelmed and harmful bacteria need to be eradicated. Unfortunately the antibiotics also destroy the good bacteria that live in our gut. The Candida organism is a yeast that is extremely fast growing and following a full course of antibiotics it can often rapidly multiply to harmful levels.
Antibiotics are powerful drugs that perform a vital and necessary task in certain circumstances but they should only be used if there is no alternative. In the past a full course of antibiotics were used as a ‘one size fits all cure’ during the cold and flu season. Thankfully, doctors attitudes are changing and they are less inclined to reach for their prescription pad at the first sign of a cough. Should you have to take antibiotics make sure you use a good quality probiotic supplyment to restore the good bacteria during and after the antibiotics course.
A large proportion of the antibiotics that we ingest are in fact in the livestock industry and therefore in the food chain. Their use is wide spread in the US but are now banned in the European Union. They are used to keep animal illness low and revenues healthy but they end up in the final product be it meat or milk. Eating an organic diet will help reduce your exposure to antibiotics and help maintain a healthy micro-organism population in your body.
Candida and your Diet
Candida is a form of yeast and yeasts feed on sugar. The current diet in western culture is perfect for Canadida to thrive as it does not matter if the sugar is in pure form, in foods or converted to sugar by the body. Processed foods made from refined carbohydrates like white wheat flour and alcohol are especially conducive to Candida overgrowth.
A diet high in refined carbohydrate and sugar actually has a suppressive effect upon the immune system and makes it easier for an imbalance to occur and eventually Candidiasis. To maintain a healthy balance all mouldy and yeast containing foods should be avoided; Blue cheese, processed foods, sweets, sauces, tea, coffee and even some vegetables will fortify a Candida overgrowth.
The Pill and Candida
For female suffers the contraceptive pill has been repeatedly linked to Candida outbreaks. The actual mechanism that makes the pill effective; (the adjustment of the hormones within the body) are thought to disrupt the equilibrium of the micro-organisms that live in the stomach and digestive tract.
Once an imbalance has occured the Candida can outgrow the other organisms leading to overgrowth. A compounding factor is that one of the main ingredients in the Pill is Estrogen and is now known to aid the growth of yeast. It is commonly reported that many women on the Pill contend with regular yeast infections (Thrush) and the principle is identical.
Copper IUD devices may also have the same affect as the Estrogen does in the Pill because copper is known to promote yeast growth. Try to be aware of these factors when choosing your form of contraception.
Stress and Candida
A powerful compounding factor to a Candida overgrowth is stress. Emotional stress leads to physical stress in the form of the hormone Cortisol being released which depresses the immune system and in turn raises you blood sugar level. The Candida yeast gets the boost of sugar and growth is increased. Your weakned immune system struggles to cope in it’s compromised condition.
Long term stress has a secondary effect upon the body that can expose your body to a Candida overgrowth. Your adrenal glands release hormones like adrenaline which the body uses in ‘fight or flight’ situations. People that are often in stressfully situations drain these small organs resources and as a result, they themselves will feel tired. To combat the tiredness the sufferer might use stimulents like caffeine, weakening the immune system further. The end result is that the Candida yeast is able to grow more rapidly.
Chlorine and Fluoride
Tap water can also indirectly weaken your immune system and in turn into Candidiasis. Tap water in the US contains both Chlorine and Fluoride (only Chlorine in the EU) which when consumed kill the beneficial bacteria in you gut.
Obviously adding Chlorine to the water system has major benefits, like killing dangerous pathogens but it can also wreak havock on you digestive system. However you can reduce your exposure by:
- Using carbon filters on your drinking water
- Switch to natural laundry products
- Avoid high Fluride toothpaste
The composition of old silver tooth filling amalgam used to contain 50% Mercury which has since been found to be poisonious. Your body is gradually breaking down and absorbing the Mercury in these fillings through everyday use.
Prolonged exposure to Mercury will lead to many health problems but is relevent here because it significantly weakens the immune system. Just like the Chlorine and Fluride, the Mercury kills the good bacteria in your gut allowing Candida to grow rapidly.
There is no safe limit for Mercury in the body. If you suspect that you have this type of filling in your teeth consult a dentist as soon as possible.
Candida and Diabetes
Diabetes can cause your body to have elevated blood sugar levels which directly feeds the Candida in your gut allowing it to overrun the other micro organisms. Females with Diabetes should be especially vigilant as they are more susceptible to yeast infections.
Parasites and worms are far more common in many parts of the world than people are aware. Often ingested by eating unwashed fruit and vegetables that harbour the paprasites larvae we can pick up a parasite in a restaurant, on vacation or at home. Once inside your gut the worm or paracite disturb the natural balance of the healthy bacteria and allowing the Candida to grow.
Common Sources of Worms and Parasites
- Drinking water. Contaminated water supplies in the developing regions should be treated with caution.
- Raw and under cooked foods. The popularity of raw dishes such as Sushi and rare steaks has lead to an increase in parasites in humans.
- Pets. Make sure your pets are regularly de-wormed. Wash your hands throughly after handling other animals.
Symptoms of Parasites
- Constant hunger
- Foul breath
- Rectal itching
- Restlessness at night
Treating Worms and Parasites
First confirm that you have a parasite by visiting your doctor. There are effective heral treatments for parasites. These include:
- Black Walnut Hulls
- Pau D’arco
- Yellow Dock.
Include anti-parasitic foods in your diet to aid your treatment and guard against future exposure. Add raw garlic and onions, pumpkin seeds, apple cider vinegar, kelp and yogurt to your diet.