Candida - Agent of Destruction or Health Companion?
Candida is an organism, but “candida” is sometimes used interchangeably with the term candidiasis, a condition of yeast overgrowth in the body.
Candida became a really hot health topic back in the late 1990's among the conventional medical community, even though alternative doctors were discussing it back in the 70's. When conventional medicine jumped on the bandwagon, a surge of doctors diagnosed people with candida.
Many people automatically think negative things when they hear the word candida, but the fact of the matter is that we couldn't live without at least a small portion of it in our bodies. It really does fall into that category of "too much of a good thing is a bad thing".
Myths about candida - unfounded information that throws people off a track of true health:
- You need to remove all candida from your body - False. You cannot and should not try to get rid of all candida in your body; it serves a very important purpose.
- Candida by itself will hurt you, possibly causing issues like leaky gut syndrome - False. Candida by itself causes you absolutely no harm, it will actually help you, as long as you have a normal amount in your body and not an overgrowth.
- If you have an overgrowth of candida and it is spreading, it can cause a callus on your colon - True.
- Candida itself is a disease - False. Candida is actually a symptom of other health issues. It is a messenger warning you something is wrong in your body causing issues and an overgrowth of candida (which is trying to protect you.)
- Eating organic fruit contributes to candida growth - False. Many organic fruits can actually help you keep candida in check, such as wild raspberries. The factors that contribute to candida overgrowth - besides toxins and pathogens - are things like processed foods. Candida will thrive on wheat, rice, or corn sugars, not fruit.
Here is what we know about the benefits of candida and why we do need it:
1.) Candida is a fungus that aids our body in destruction of certain toxins and pathogens that could otherwise cause us great harm.
2.) Candida will consume garbage from toxins and food of a poor quality so that they don't enter our system further to cause serious damage.
3.) Some of the pathogens that candida prevents from damaging the body are E. coli, C. diff, Streptococcus, and mold.
4.) Candida will also try to eat as many toxins from food as it can. If you are consuming conventional food that has been dosed by pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. then the candida in your body is working overtime to eat as much of it as it can before it lets what is left of the food move on.
Imagine you have a cotton ball in your stomach and it represents the small amount of candida you are supposed to have to help you. Then you decide to do many things that increase your level of toxins: start your day with some Starbucks coffee (which is well known to house a high amount of carcinogens), then for lunch eat some conventional strawberries (which are very heavily sprayed with poison), after work go home and made a pork roast (which is known to have a high amount of parasites) with some conventional potatoes (large dose of toxic spray), and get a salad in there too (which has been covered in pesticides and is full of GMOs).
That little cotton ball of candida isn't enough to take on all those toxins at once from just one typical day of eating in a world full of toxic danger! The candida will grow and grow to keep trying to protect you from the overload of toxins to the liver. Even worse, if the liver can't hold it all and it makes its way to the rest of the body, then the real damage starts.
If the candida can't consume and process the toxins as fast as you are consuming them, then it spreads and grows to cover more of the toxins and pathogens. Issues come into play when you have too much candida taking up space in your body.
Candida overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract. source
The downfalls of too much candida:
1.) The body is only meant to have a certain amount of each thing in it; one heart, one liver, a certain number of red and white blood cells, etc., and when you are out of balance, many different systems can be effected. The first problem with candida overgrowth is that it can quickly block the gastrointestinal tract where it resides as it expands. Once certain parts of this tract are blocked, your body can no longer access that specific part to absorb nutrition, produce B12 vitamins, and fully eliminate waste.
2.) As candida grows, it will continue to spread from the gastrointestinal tract, potentially even up into the stomach. Most people don't know that your stomach and intestinal tract is where most neurotransmitters are created. Take serotonin and dopamine for example: if your body loses the ability to create those much needed chemicals for the brain, you become unbalanced and it can contribute to a deteriorated mental state and overall health issues.
Because a body out of balance can affect so many systems there are a whole host of symptoms related to candida overgrowth:
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood swings or low mood
- Brain fog, easily forgetful
- A weak immune system
- Joint pains/Fibromyalgia (inflammation)
- Digestive issues or pain (like Crohn's disease or IBS)
- Fungal infections on the skin or nails
- Recurring yeast infections of the genitals (yes men can get them too)
- Oral thrush
- Sinus infections
- Food allergies/food intolerance
Candida is one of the biggest concerns facing health today! If you have any of these symptoms, it is highly suggested you test yourself for candida! Our next post will give you clear, concise info on an easy home test for candida.
Once you determine if Candida is an issue for you, then you can do something about it! Stay tuned, because we will also share inexpensive and natural ways to remove excess candida from the body to alleviate the onset of symptoms in upcoming posts.
As stated above, candida is often just a symptoms itself of other potential issues, so the first step is to remove the overgrowth; that will make it easier to address the root cause of the problem. Again, that is a topic we will cover soon in another post.
We hope this will inspire you to do additional research and work towards the best possible health for yourself!
For additional resources on this topic, please check out some of these links and the ones above:
*This information is not intended to be medical advice; it is just shared research & experience.