Fungi belong to a healthy intestinal flora and compete with bacteria for balance and quantity distribution in the gut. Normally fungi are kept at bay by good intestinal bacteria, but it still can happen that it gets out of balance and the fungi get out of hand.
If this is the case, two major problems arise. On the one hand, the fungus produces toxins and antigens that put a heavy strain on the organism and especially the liver. On the other hand, the good intestinal bacteria are displaced, which are an important part of digestion, nutrient uptake, vitamin and enzyme formation and the immune system.
The Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that mainly feeds on sugar and yeast. According to recent studies, this fungus has been detected in more than 75% of all patients examined. The main reason for this is in the nutrition, because our western nutrition is completely designed for a fungus of the intestine. After all, who is still eating today as he should in order to stay healthy and to supply the body with everything he needs? Surely only a few!
If the intestinal flora is completely intact, the candida fungus causes no problems and symptoms. But if a weakened immune system is present, the fungus spreads rapidly and colonizes the intestine. Under favorable conditions and excessive sugar intake, the number of Candida fungi in the intestine doubles within 20 minutes!
As a result, it comes to an overpopulation (candidiasis) of the fungi in the intestine and the first symptoms appear. The longer the diagnosis of Candida fails and the attending physician does not initiate appropriate therapy, the more damage occurs in the intestine, the range of symptoms is growing continuously and the intestinal mucosa is severely affected. Leaky gut, food intolerances, anemia, vitamin deficiency and much more is on the agenda.
Since the Candida is not only staying in the intestine, it can also lead to a systemic candidiasis. This means that the fungus can attack various organs through the bloodstream and this makes the problem even more worse. Once the Candida fungus has spread in the intestine and body, the immune system is massively stressed and usually overloaded. Then the body quickly becomes susceptible to all conceivable infections and also allergic to many food ingredients, fragrances and more.
Due to the fact that the Candida fungus tries to settle over a large area in the intestine, the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine is massively reduced, which can lead to various deficiency symptoms and anemia. Of course, these deficiency symptoms will eventually come with their own symptoms and problems. The fatal thing is that patients often have been living with the candida fungus for a very long time and over the years have become accustomed to such symptoms as fatigue, allergies, headaches and recurring colds and do not associate them with a fungus infection.
Causes of Candida Infection
There are many reasons for the spread of Candida albicans. The most important would be a long-lasting cortisone intake, too frequent use of antibiotics, a weak immune system, stress and especially the nutrition.
The Candida fungus can multiply itself without restriction, if a regular food supply is guaranteed. The fungus prefers this food intake in the form of fast carbohydrates made from white flour and sugar. In addition, the fungus also likes to feed on zinc and calcium, so that in case of a deficiency of these nutrients should always be thought of Candida infection, even if initially no externally visible symptoms indicate Candida.
In order to survive and spread further, the fungus nests directly in the small intestine, as there is of course sufficient food available. Thus, the fungus takes the food and the nutrient even before the human gets the opportunity to absorb the vital nutrients. As a result, the body in the long term weakens further, the immune system can not do its job reliably and the fungus can continue to spread.
As a result, more and more symptoms such as distended abdomen, altered stool behavior, susceptibility to infection, fatigue and weakness arise. In the further course of an untreated candidiasis, the situation can aggravate quickly because the fungus can attack other organs and thus can be a serious threat.
Not to be neglected is the fact that the candida fungus, which converts the sugar (glucose) obtained from the food, to fermented alcohol to form fusel alcohols and thus strongly irritates the intestine and additionally loads the liver. So it is obvious, especially with elevated liver values, which are not caused by excessive alcohol consumption, to think of Candida infection.
Symptoms and possible sequelae
- Strong cravings for sweets and carbohydrates
- Fatigue and weakness
- Quickly irritated
- Diarrhea / Constipation
- Upper abdominal complaints
- Bloating / distended stomach
- Reflux and heartburn
- Irritable colon and irritable stomach
- Joint pain / muscle pain / rheumatic symptoms
- Food intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Leaky Gut
- Adrenal fatigue
- Vitamin deficiency / anemia
- Anxiety and depression
- Itching and rash
- Sleep disorders
- Mood swings
- Lack of concentration and forgetfulness
- Vision disorders
- Back pain
- Pulse weakness
- Athlete’s foot (foot fungus)
Candida often causes Leaky-gut
In diseases such as Leaky-gut and especially adrenal fatigue, the candida fungus plays a greater role than most patients and doctors are aware of.
In a leaky gut, the intestinal mucosa is severely disturbed and porous, so that food components or germs can get into the bloodstream unfiltered. This damage to the mucous membrane can have various causes, including a wrong nutrition, too much sugar, too much wheat, too much gluten – but also the rooting Candida often is responsible for the leaky gut.
In a systemic Candida infection, the fungus forms fine roots, which drill through the digestive tract over time. With these fine roots, the fungus goes in search of more distant sugar sources in the blood or in other organs. Due to the small holes that have been created in the intestinal wall, the food components, which have not yet been completely decomposed, now enter the blood. The immune system responds to it like to any foreign object in the blood, by attacking it with the immune cells and then building antibodies against it, for the cause that these nutrients reappear.
And thus develops a food intolerance or autoimmune diseases .
Candida and Adrenal Fatigue
The systemic infection with Candida also very often causes severe adrenal fatigue. The cause of the adrenal fatigue is the prolonged stress in the body, which brings the adrenals to their limits, and which is caused by the following factors:
- Allergic reactions due to Leaky-gut
- Large amounts of toxins that are produced by the Candida fungus and stress the liver
- Permanent ulceration In the intestine, which results from the reversion of the Candida roots
- Weak immune system which also opens the door to other infections and further weakens the body
How to diagnose Candida Infection?
Apart from a purely optical evidence of Candida, such as the oral thrush, a heavily occupied tongue or circular patches of dry skin on the hands and feet, Candida certainly can be detected by stool examination.
This is done by order of a doctor in a laboratory of his choice. Unfortunately, according to the laboratory, if the test for candida fungus was negative, it does not mean that there is no candida infection.
This is because the fungus likes to form so-called nests, which are not necessarily included in the part of the stool that is being examined. Therefore, when taking a stool sample, always make sure to take the samples from different parts of the stool. So the probability to expose the fungus is much higher.
But also via a saliva or urine examination, a Candida infection can be detected.
How to Treat the Candida Fungus
To get at a tangible diagnosis in a systemic Candida infection, in most cases takes some time. But to be treated properly then usually takes much longer.
Unfortunately, only a handful of doctors do have the necessary expertise and expertise to initiate meaningful diagnostics and treatment. You can count yourself lucky if you receive the necessary support in the treatment of Candida infection.
For the treatment of a Candida infection, some medications are available now. But simple treatment with nystatin or diflucan is definitely not enough to fight a rooting candida fungus. The drugs can only be fully effective with a radical change in nutrition, without sugar, alcohol and white flour.
In addition, it may even be that the patient is allergic to the treatment, as over time, a leaky gut often develops and thus quickly hypersensitivity to all conceivable foods and additives in medicines can arise. As a result, the immune system is even weaker and the fungus can spread even further.
Also It should be considered that the candida fungus develops resistance to fungicides very quickly and also becomes immune to the drugs that are used. That is why it is enormously important to regularly switch between different fungicides every 14 days.
At the same time the immune system should be rebuilt so that the body gets more energy to heal. The best support for the immune system are h high quality food supplements in the form of vitamin supplements and / or probiotics.
The beneficial intestinal bacteria are the natural enemy of the yeast fungi, not only reducing the amount of fungi, but also repairing the intestinal mucosa and ensuring a faster digestion. This is important to get rid of the dead candida fungi as soon as possible.
Treating Candida Conventionally
For the conventional treatment of Candida overgrowth usually antimycotics are prescribed. In most cases it is nystatin. This drug is available from different manufacturers and it is an -over the counter- remedy! Nystatin has the advantage that it can not get into the bloodstream and does its job exclusively inside the gut.
Because of this, nystatin itself comes with no side effects, but in the treatment of Candida it comes to an initial deterioration, the so-called Herxheimer reaction, which brings proper “side effects” with it. Further information of the Herxheimer reaction can be found below.
Nystatin is available in tablet form and also as a suspension. The tablets should be taken for at least 14 days. But better over a period of 30 days. For one or two weeks, two tablets three times a day after a meal, then one tablet three times a day.
Since the Candida fungus not only sits in the intestine, but colonized the entire digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum, it is extremely important to use the suspension treatment in addition to the tablets, to eliminate the fungi in the mouth, the esophagus, and the stomach.
If the fungus has been in the intestine for a long time, or if it was tried to starve the fungus without taking the corresponding fungicid, it may be that the Candida infection has become systemic. This means that the fungus and is roots has spread in the body via the bloodstream and may have affected other organs, which of course can lead to corresponding symptoms.
In this case, systemic antifungals such as fluconazole are available, which effectively acts throughout the body via the bloodstream. But unfortunately it comes with many side effects and actually works reliably only at the first application. If you then cheat on your diet or exaggerate with sugar, white flour and alcohol, Candida can spread again and the effect of fluconazole then definitely would not be as promising as at the first time.
Treating Candida Naturally
Nystatin and fluconazole both are chemical agents against the intestinal fungus and do not have much to do with naturopathy. Nature, on the other hand, offers a variety of natural “antibiotics” and antifungals, which work as well as the chemicals and can be used as a supplement or an alternative to conventional antifungals:
- Grapefruit Seed extract
- Caprylic acid
- Oregano oil
- Lapacho tea
- Milk kefir
- Olive leaf extract
- Allicin (Garlic)
The Candida Diet
If an infection with Candida Albicans has been diagnosed, a consistent dietary change is inevitable and basically the main pillar of treatment. In particular, quickly available carbs in the form of sugar and white flour, must be replaced with vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and possibly whole grains, as these provide the breeding ground for Candida fungus.
Above all, you should take a look at the ingredients of the food used so far. Today there are hardly any foods in the supermarket that contain no sugar. And the amounts of sugar are really alarming. Even such inconspicuous products as ketchup or mustard, massively contain sugar.
The complete starvation (the complete renunciation of sugar) of the fungus is not recommended nowadays, because the fungus becomes more active when there is too little sugar. On the one hand it releases toxins, which have a harmful effect to the organism and especially the liver. On the other hand, the Candida fungus tries to drill its roots through the intestinal wall in order to access the sugar in the blood or the blood vessels. Thus, small amounts of fruit sugar in the form of fruits and vegetables should be consumed.
However, there are also positive reports on the Candida diet: it is very healthy and lets your weight drop. This might sound like a small consolation at first, but it helps to keep the patient through during the difficult phase, as a success becomes visible very quickly.
In principle, for success the food must meet the following criteria:
- It must be low in carbohydrates to deprive the Candida fungus of its food source. The main food should be fiber, followed by meat, fish, healthy fats, oils, nuts and seeds.
- The selected foods should be good for digestive purposes, as well as promoting them instead of inhibiting them.
- The selected foods must be nutritious, strengthen the immune system and be easily digestible.
- The selected foods should have a fungicidal effect (garlic, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, onions, etc.)
It is important that the patient understands that a diet alone will not work. Also antimycotic treatment alone will not work. Only the combination can succeed permanently, provided that the patient has stamina and consistently adheres to his diet.
Candida diet for most patients is a huge challenge. In particular you have to be patient. But usually most patients notice relatively quick that the diet and fungal treatment lead to a significantly better state of health and thus the effort is worth it. This is a constant motivation. That defeats the fungus in the long run and improve your own health significantly.
But no matter how good the intentions may be, certainly there will be little relapses and you will fall for sugar in some form. But this quickly will become noticeable with a number of symptoms that usually cause the patient to resume the candida diet.
The duration of Candida treatment, including diet, depends on the duration and the severity of the infection and therefore can not be said in general. But often it is the case that the first lasting improvements of well-being occur after a few weeks and manifest after 6-12 months.
But there are also many patients who need years to get healthy again. Others have to keep the diet for a lifetime to not be overgrown with the candida fungus again. However, the success of the treatment usually depends on how consistently you perform the treatment and the diet.
Herxheimer Reaction – The Die-Off
When a Candida infection is treated, the great death of fungi, which is also called die-off, and especially at the beginning of the treatment, with the release of large amounts of toxins and antigens, can be particularly unpleasant and demands a lot from the body.
The liver and adrenal glands are severely affected during Candida treatment and cause severe fatigue and weakness. But also symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and insomnia are quite classic for this unpleasant phase of candida treatment.
But after a few weeks when the proper healing applies, the die-off symptoms flag, the intervals become longer.
No matter how uncomfortable the Herxheimer reaction is, the only good thing is that you can be sure that the treatment is actually working and the patient is on the right path. From here it is a play for time, and a challenge to the patient’s stamina.
- candida-therapy: © Ghazi-Michael Ayed
- candida-albicans: © matka_Wariatka – Fotolia.com