What is Candidiasis?
Learn about candida remedies, the dangers of candida such as mycotoxins, symptoms of candida infection, effective natural treatments as well as common medications used to treat this serious illness.
Candidiasis is an illness that many consider to be a minor nuisance, and in fact most people think that the typical yeast infection, which is caused by candida albicans overgrowth, is a female condition only. Candidiasis is not a simple illness though; in fact, yeast overgrowth becomes a significant problem when the normal single celled candida albicans organism for some reason turns into a branching fungal form, known as a mycelia form. Often beginning harmlessly in the digestive tract, the malicious mycelia candida can produce rhizoids or long penetrating branches that break through the intestines and allow the candida to invade various organs of the body. Moreover, after the intestinal walls are damaged, undigested and partially digested proteins enter a person’s circulatory system creating numerous food allergies and sensitivities.click here to learn more about candidiasis and candida remedies
The mycelia candida, like any other fungi, produces an active substance known as mycotoxin. Mycotoxins can cause central nervous system issues including fatigue, confusion, memory loss, irritability, depression, mood swings, headaches, nausea, numbness, tingling and burning sensations. Candidiasis toxins often create a whole body malaise and a “sick all over” feeling. This makes finding appropriate candida remedies challenging, because these symptoms mimic so many other ailments that candida is often overlooked as the primary cause.
Once yeast overgrowth has occurred it is very challenging to properly eradicate. In fact, it is often part of an ugly cycle of recurrence where an underlying condition leads an individual to suffer with candidiasis and the recurring infections exacerbate the underlying health concern. For example, a person may have an ear infection, which is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are a known instigator of yeast overgrowth, as a result of the way the antibiotics kill off healthy bacteria and throw the delicate balance of intestinal bacteria completely out of whack. The hardy candida cells flourish in the new environment and lower the immune system of the individual. With a lowered immune system, the individual contracts another infection, goes on another course of antibiotics and so the cycle continues. The best candida remedies, therefore, are ones that treat both the underlying health concern and the yeast overgrowth at the same time.
Diagnosis of Candida
Candidiasis should be diagnosed by your medical practitioner or a holistic health professional. Some types of candida overgrowth present externally, in the form of skin infections, rashes, itching, vaginal odor and discharge or thrush. Many cases of candida overgrowth are mostly internal though, as the candida organism is particularly fond of the digestive tract. The internal candida overgrowth will present with symptoms such as anxiety, bloating, cramps, constipation, food sensitivities, hypoglycemia, memory loss, and debilitating fatigue.
Medical professionals may perform any number of tests to diagnose candida, including blood tests, skin tests, stool analysis, muscle- testing, and electro-acupuncture. Often a professional will resort to trying candida remedies simply on the basis of suspicion, particularly when the symptoms of fatigue and short-term memory loss are present. A definitive diagnosis may never be made, but after your doctor has eliminated other causes, or has determined a course of treatment for related health problems, a patient may then evaluate what candida remedies they feel are most suitable, whether natural, medical, or some combination of the two.
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There are a variety of natural candida remedies. Often the first recommended course of action is a fairly stringent diet which eliminates the following:
- wheat and grain flours
- sweet fruits
- fermented foods or alcohol
- peanuts and cashews
- sausages, lunch meats and hotdogs
After eliminating these yeast favorable foods, a person should increase his fiber intake, drink more water, eat whole organic foods, especially green vegetables, yogurt, garlic and onions. Increasing the intake of specific oils such as olive oil, fish oils, and flaxseed oil is also considered to be very beneficial. It can take several months for these diet changes to assist an individual in achieving optimum health, so changing the diet and trying other natural candida remedies may be the best course of action.
Several minerals and vitamins also are helpful candida remedies. For example, high doses of vitamin B6 and magnesium are thought to be particularly suitable. Another option is to increase folic acid, which is -thought to be an anti-fungal nutrient. To increase the presence of healthy bacteria and thus re-establish balance in the system, an individual may want to try taking supplements such as caprylic acid, Echinacea, colloidal silver, whole leaf aloe vera juice, garlic, citrus seed extract, oat straw tea, or probiotics such as lactobacillus acidophilus.
There are also candida remedies that can be applied topically to help heal specific types of yeast related infections, such as skin infections, nail diseases, and thrush. Oil of oregano can be applied externally with no likely consequence and may prove effective against skin related yeast infections. Nail diseases can be treated by submerging and washing in a selenium based shampoo or diluted tea tee oil. Thrush, a problem that commonly occurs due to a yeast infection transferred back and forth between a nursing mother and her infant, is often treated naturopathically with gentian violet.
For a woman dealing with vaginal yeast infections, additional simple and natural candida remedies include wearing one hundred percent cotton undergarments, allowing proper airflow by avoiding tight clothing like pantyhose and panties made from synthetic fibers. Bathing often in water that has had essential oil added, such as bergamot, clary, lavendar, ylang-ylang, clove, fennel or geranium can have very positive effects. Douching or otherwise cleaning the vaginal area is not necessary, and in fact can be very disruptive and counter-productive, as it simply introduces additional bacteria into the environment.
Since candida overgrowth often leaves an individual’s immune system weakened, it is also important to consider changes that will help a person strengthen her immune system. Some natural ways to do this are to limit your exposure to chemicals for a period of several weeks/months until you feel much improved. Chemicals like tobacco smoke, perfume, insecticides, diesel or gas fumes can all contribute to poor health. Increasing your activity level, getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and getting adequate sleep are key factors in allowing your immune system to heal itself from chronic yeast infections and overgrowth. Additionally, there are many homeopathic herbs that can be taken to improve the health of the immune system, including boneset, echinacea, licorice, and oil of oregano. Multivitamins, particularly if they are sugar and yeast free, can be beneficial, as can increased doses of vitamin A and vitamin C. Wheat grass supplements are recommended, as are probiotics. The healthier your immune system, the less likely you are to experience recurrences of candidiasis.
Medical treatments are likely to have their best effect if combined with dietary changes and lifestyle changes such as decreasing stress and strengthening the immune system, but some individuals may prefer to try medical treatments over naturopathic treatments. The most commonly prescribed medical candida remedies include anti-fungal topical ointments like Nystatin, Diflucan, Sporanox, and Nizoral. Within six to eight weeks of using these anti-fungal medications a person should start feeling somewhat better or see a clearing of the condition, but it can take several months for complete health to return. Some anti-fungal treatments are available over-the-counter in most jurisdictions, including Monistat and Nystatin.
It is important to note that regardless of what candida remedies are undertaken, candidiasis is a challenging illness to cure and it recurs easily. Individuals must learn to pay careful attention to their own symptoms to quickly take steps to combat candida overgrowth and, even better, should always be working to maintain optimal health to prevent recurrences as much as possible. Once the vexatious candida cycle has begun again, a general unwell feeling can overwhelm a person and frustrate attempts at recovery. Maintaining an appropriate diet, taking preventative supplements, and keeping stress to a minimum are a key way to prevent the candida overgrowth cycle from disrupting your life again and again.