Candida (more commonly known as thrush) refers to both a form of fungus and also the condition of overgrowth of this fungus in the human body.
Candida resides in the gut of normal healthy humans in a certain ratio to the other more populated bacteria strains that make up the gut flora. Candida's main function in the gut is to aid in breaking down undigested carbohydrates.
The common condition known as Candidiasis is the condition of a mild to extreme overgrowth of this fungus in the human body due to certain unhealthy conditions being met.
The overgrowth of the Candida fungus can be detrimental to health if left to develop unchecked.
Candida being a fungus thrives in oxygen deprived damp conditions. These conditions are typicallyrought about by excessive stress and unbalanced nutrition that leads to overly acidic blood (pH <7). Because Candida is a fungus it can develop very quickly under the right conditions. This can lead to the fungus burrowing through tissue layers and into the blood stream where it can potentially access other parts of the body and setup colonies anywhere else in the body that provides the right conditions.
Because the Candida fungus originates in the gut, if it gets itself into the blood it will prompt an immune response – therefore and over acid blood stream will continue to activate and tax the immune system as long as the fungus exists there in any significant numbers.
Some health experts even claim that autoimmune diseases like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, AIDS and possibly even Cancer are opportunistic infections that have been preceded by yeast infections of the body.
The health of the immune system and the condition of the blood determine whether and to what extent the Candida fungus can proliferate in the body.
One of the most common initiators of Candida overgrowth is Antibiotics.
The explanation is interesting and intriguing …
Antibiotics have been developed by modern pharmaceutical companies to clear up bacterial infections. Most antibiotics that are prescribed are called broad spectrum antibiotic (BSAs), meaning they destroy a large range of bacteria. This can be useful in killing any unwanted, dangerous bacterial invaders in the body but it comes at a pretty high cost.
These BSAs also take out the bacteria in our digestive systems that are not only responsible for helping to digest our food but also act as part of our primary defenses in our immune system.
Regular taking of BSAs can literally destroy our natural gut bacteria. One major problem with this is that the Candida in our guts is kept to manageable and healthy numbers by these crucial bacteria.
And because the Candida fungus is not affected by BSAs the Candida is left with the ideal conditions to start its expansion and takeover of the body!
Other drugs that contribute to the overgrowth of Candida are birth control pills and Steroids. Anyone who has been regularly taking any of these types of drugs should consider the possibility of Candida overgrowth.
Some of the symptoms of Candida overgrowth are:
Itching – Around the eyes, ears and on the skin in general.
Rash – Candida overgrowth can cause thrush rash on the genitals and in the mouth.
Fungal infections – Athlete's foot and nail fungus are definite signs.
Fatigue – Being tired a lot and needing lots of coffee can be a sign your immune system is being taxed by Candida overgrowth.
Bloating and excess gas can be a symptom of Candida
Difficulty concentrating and brain fog
Bad moods, depression or general malaise
Craving for sugars, white breads and other refined (fast sugar releasing foods)
What can you do?
Learning about how Candida infections occur and proliferate is useful but what can someone who has Candida Overgrowth do to treat the symptoms and ultimately reverse the condition?
One very important thing to know about Candida is what it thrives on – Sugar!
Why is this important? Because almost every food item you buy these days has added sugar. And most people seem to fill their day guzzling sugary drinks (sodas and even fruit juices) and consuming all kinds of sugary foods.
Candida will absolutely love this kind of eating and will thrive, producing all kinds of combinations of the above named symptoms.
So the first step in clearing up the overgrowth is vastly reducing your sugar intake.