Candida Albicans is a normal inhabitant of the human intestine. Its anaerobic metabolism is usually kept in check by a number of mechanisms that favor aerobic metabolism. When body chemistry becomes deranged, candida may overgrow resulting in many undesirable symptoms.
Toxic metals. Elevated levels of iron, lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium impair immune system activity. They may also encourage candida overgrowth by other mechanisms.
Copper and yeast infections. Copper is a natural fungicide. Farmers often spray copper sulfate on fruits and vegetables to kill fungi and molds. Most, if not all individuals with yeast infections have a copper imbalance.
Ceruloplasmin, a binding protein manufactured in the liver, is important to control copper metabolism. Adequate adrenal activity is required for ceruloplasmin synthesis. Underactive adrenal glands or sluggish liver activity cause a decrease in ceruloplasmin production. As a result, copper is not adequately bound and becomes unavailable to the body. This situation is common today, especially in slow metabolizers.
Birth control pills raise copper levels. Some antibiotics chelate copper from the blood and may sequester it in the liver. Antibiotic therapy and birth control pill use are known to increase the tendency for chronic yeast infection.
Cortisone therapy is also associated with yeast overgrowth. Steroids cause a decrease in adrenal gland activity and impair the immune system. They may also affect copper availability.
Slow metabolism. Slow metabolizers often have unavailable copper due to sluggish adrenal, thyroid and liver activity. Their body chemistry is often more alkaline due to lower production of lactic acid and excess unbound calcium that neutralizes lactic acid. They also have low levels of gastric hydrochloric acid and a tendency for constipation. The combination of these factors make these individuals extremely prone to candida albicans overgrowth. Unless all these factors are addressed, the candida problem tends to persist in spite of dietary modification and anti-candida medication.
Medication and candida. Overuse of antibiotics ranks high as a cause of chronic candida overgrowth. Wide-spectrum antibiotics in particular kill beneficial organisms such as lactobacillus acidophilus that normally keep yeast in check. The drugs are also toxic to the liver and can weaken the immune system. They are stored in body tissues where their effects can persist for years. Antibiotics should only be used as a last resort, and never for colds, flu, children's ear infections or viral infections.
Ingestion or contact with any chemical toxic to the liver or that weakens the immune system will increase the risk of candida albicans infection. This includes most, if not all prescription and over-the-counter medication.
Toxic chemicals. Contact with thousands of other toxic chemicals just adds to the problem. The tremendous promotion of over-the-counter and prescription drugs and toxic chemical products is an important cause of widespread candida albicans infection.
Blood sugar imbalance and yeast infection. Candida albicans overgrowth may cause or be a result of sweets in the diet. Yeast organisms crave sugar, their natural diet. When deprived of sugar or carbohydrate in the diet, the yeast begin to die, releasing toxic substances that cause a die-off reaction in the infected person.
Eating sweets or starches may feel good because it feeds the yeast. This stops the die-off symptoms. If someone feels much better eating carbohydrates and sugars, hypoglycemia and chronic intestinal yeast overgrowth should be considered.
The yeast organism produces alcohol. If the yeast begin to die due to sugar deprivation, alcohol production decreases. The infected person will go into alcohol withdrawal. This can feel extremely unpleasant. A strong craving for sweets or starches is the need to resume internal alcohol production. Candida is very common in diabetics.
Candida albicans infection may also be a result of high-sugar and high-carbohydrate diets. On these diets, there is more available nourishment for yeast organisms. High-sugar diets also weaken the immune system, the adrenal glands, and deplete trace minerals, all of which favor yeast overgrowth. Use of wheat and other allergic foods irritates the intestine and may facilitate spread of candida organisms.
Acidity and candida. Yeast thrives in an alkaline environment. Gastric hydrochloric acid deficiency is widespread and allows yeast to survive passage through the stomach. The colon and vagina should be slightly acid, which would discourage yeast growth. However, in many people they are alkaline due to improper bowel flora, enzyme deficiencies and diets high in fruit and other carbohydrates.
Symptoms include simple fatigue, depression, headaches, bloating and intestinal gas. Others are low resistance, skin and vaginal fungal infections, tightness in the shoulders, itching and joint pain. Often prominent are mental and emotional symptoms. These include confusion, brain fog, memory loss, food cravings and mood swings.
If candida spreads from the intestines and invades other organs, specific organ-related symptoms may occur. The condition can be life threatening in immune-compromised individuals.
Symptoms due to candida may be difficult to distinguish from symptoms of burnout, food allergies, toxicity and nutrient deficiencies since these are usually found together. Some practitioners blame everything on yeast, which is not the case. However, chronic yeast overgrowth is far more common than one might suspect and an important basic health concern.
Books about candida often focus on symptoms, rather than on causes. Many people feel better on the diet and drugs for candida, but never fully recover. If they stop the program, symptoms promptly return. Fortunately, insights from trace mineral research can identify and help correct deeper causes.
Anyone can have candidiasis, especially those who have taken many antibiotics. More common in slow metabolizers, other indicators include an elevated copper or a low zinc/copper ratio. Also consider candida whenever the sodium/potassium ratio is less than 2:1. Other indicators are a phosphorus level less than 14 or elevated mercury, cadmium or lead. Even a slight elevation of the toxic metals predisposes one to yeast.
A low carbohydrate diet is often very important. The worst foods are sugars and other simple carbohydrates. High copper foods are also problematic. These include soy and other vegetarian proteins. At times, the regular supplement program is adequate for correction. In other cases, one must add Betaine HCl-Pepsin, Acidophilus, GB-3 and perhaps Caprylic Formula, garlic or other anti-candida products.
Detoxification with colonic irrigation and the infrared sauna may also be very helpful. Full correction can take several years to restore body chemistry and remove metals and antibiotic residues.