Candida

sick-dogDo you find that as the heat and humidity increases, your allergies, sensitivities and intolerances increase as well?  Do you have cold or flu like symptoms that you can’t seem to shake off?  Are you constantly tired?  Do you suffer from digestive problems like gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation?

These symptoms and many others may be an indication of a candida overgrowth.

What is Candida?

Candida albicans is a yeast that is naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin and in the genitourinary tract. It is one of the millions of friendly organisms that live and serve useful purposes in the body.  Candida plays an important role in helping to recognize and destroy harmful bacteria.

In a healthy person it is controlled and balanced by “friendly” bacteria and the immune system.  If the number beneficial bacteria is reduced by long term use of antibiotics, steroids or oral contraceptives, or if your immune system becomes weakened by stress and poor lifestyle choices, Candida can grow unchecked.  The technical term for this overgrowth is Candidiasis.

When it grows out of control it can cause a vast array of symptoms and health problems such as the ones mentioned above, as well as many others, anything from joint pain and muscle fatigue to itchy ears and fungal nail infections.  Localized infections, such as oral thrush, skin infections, and vaginal yeast infections in women can result. thrush People with severely weakened immune systems, such as those with cancer or AIDS, may develop widespread Candida infection, a serious medical condition called systemic candidiasis.

Candida overgrowth in the intestines is thought to, in some cases, penetrate the intestinal wall, causing the yeast and other unwanted particles to be absorbed into the body. This is thought to activate the immune system, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, headache, mood swings, sinus congestion, depression, poor memory and concentration, cravings for sweets, and has even been linked to conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Contributing factors to candida overgrowth

Candida is similar to mould and we all know that mould enjoys abundant growth in a warm moist atmosphere, so living in a hot, humid climate such as Darwin can encourage an overgrowth.

A high sugar diet also “feeds” the candida yeast, as does consuming processed foods, alcohol, vinegar and foods that contain yeast e.g. bread and vegemite.

Hormonal fluctuations can also encourage candida, which is why women are more susceptible than men and even more so during pregnancy.

A stressful lifestyle, smoking, high caffeine consumption, poor sleep patterns and lack of exercise all put the immune system under pressure leaving the way open for candida to proliferate.

Diet and lifestyle changes

saladPut simply you will need to eat a diet of fresh, whole food while your body heals.  Plenty of salads and protein.  I find that many people find the first week or two challenging as the body detoxes but as they notice the difference in energy and general health and well being, things become easier.

Avoid foods and drinks that feed candida; so eliminating processed, canned and refined food and foods high in sugar is important.  This includes sugar alternatives like honey, molasses and rice malt syrup.  Even fruit consumption needs to be minimised. If you feel like you can’t go without, choose fruit that is lower in sugar and high in fibre and limit yourself to only 1 or 2 peices per day.  Fruit juice, dried fruit and alcohol needs to be avoided entirely.

Because of candida’s similarity to yeast and mould, avoid mouldy, blue or aged cheese, vinegar (it’s made with a yeast culture), sauces and pickles.  Mushrooms are a fungi so it is best to eliminate them too.

Coffee and black tea create and extra burden for the body’s stress-coping systems.  Try herb tea or broth instead.

Gluten can be difficult for an already challenged digestive system to handle, so it is best to avoid it.  Bread also contains yeast so give it a miss while your body repairs.

Throughout the process it is very important to drink plenty of water, preferably filtered or spring water.  This will help your body to flush out the toxins and minimise any potential healing crisis.

Reduce your stress and make sleep and rest a priority!  A good night’s sleep goes a long way towards helping to cope with stress as well as supporting your body while it heals and helps the immune system to get on with its job.

While your body is detoxing it is not uncommon to find yourself on an emotional roller coaster, so regular light exercise, helps to reduce stress and gets the blood moving around your body while assisting with the elimination of toxins.  Yoga and meditation may also be helpful.  A kinesiology session may also help you understand and process the emotions as they come up.

Suggested supplements

A good quality probiotic supplement containing acidophilus can help to re-populate the digestive tract with the beneficial bacteria needed to balance and control the candida yeast.  Unsweetened natural yoghurt can be helpful but the probiotic content is not high enough to replace a probiotic supplement.

edited_1461034103678Fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut can be helpful because of their high probiotic and prebiotic content.  I have read conflicting reports on whether kombucha can be helpful for candida overgrowth because it contains wild yeast.  I highly recommend kombucha as maintenance for general wellbeing but I think it is best to steer clear in the initial stages of getting candida under control.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and can be helpful because it destroys the cell membrane of the candida albicans yeast, preventing it from growing and reproducing.  Garlic oil capsules are convenient and perhaps preferable to swallowing cloves of garlic.

Probiotics and garlic shouldn’t be taken together, so try to take them at least 2 hours apart.  To get the best benefit take garlic at night and probiotics in the morning.  Usually you will need to take more than the suggested daily dose of both to get the desired result with candida overgrowth.

Wild oregano oil contains an active ingredient called carvacrol that has also been found to be beneficial in the fight against candida overgrowth.  It also stimulates bile and digestive juices to improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients from the food you eat.

Supplementing with Vitamin C & E and Zinc help to give the immune system a boost which in turn will help your body to naturally fight off the overgrowth.canstockphoto32653033

How kinesiology can help

Kinesiology has many techniques to help boost your immune system to specifically target candida overgrowth.  Using muscle testing we can find what areas of your body and energy systems are being affected by candiasis and then find the best way of re-balancing again.  One of the biggest advantages is that we can muscle test the specific dietary changes and supplements your body needs to achieve the best and quickest result possible.

 

 

 

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