Candida Overgrowth Syndrome

It is so sad how a lot of people can manage to sleep at night when they know that their actions are hurting lives. It took me long to understand what causes candidiasis and I spent a lot of money going from one doctor to another and even changed to herbal medicine which is more expensive.

Ladies suffer more with this disease and my concentration will on them, though I will mention one or two incidences in men.  If you are the kind of man who does not care about what women go through, move on. But, if you are the gentleman who wants to know more about this, get comfortable and lets us break it down.

My ladies and gentlemen, I am not a doctor or anywhere in the field of science. But l have been in this situation, I have suffered with people who think they know it all and I think a lot of ladies are going through the same in Africa and the rest of the world. After using tablet after tablet and drinking a lot of bottles of herbal/natural medicine, I took matters into my own hands and started researching on my own. I put things together and started changing my life. I can now proudly wear my undie and remove it looking clean, no itches, no discharge and l feel good.

You do not have to take what am saying as the bible truth, but if it helps, am more than pleased. Go out there too and read more about the subject, consult your doctor friend, not the one who wants you to just buy a pill. Get Information before acting. The body has the strongest and the smartest mechanism, when you understand it, there is no need to throw in your system all the pills you’re taking for the moment.

Understand your body because every reaction you are getting, is its form of communicating to you that something is wrong. Instead of you silencing it, get to the bottom of the cause of the problem and avoid more damage in your system.


What is Candida Overgrowth Syndrome?

The body plays host to a multitude of microorganisms, and a proper balance among them is one of the keys to good health. While bacteria are by far the most common, the body also supports a very small population of another microorganism, a type of yeast called Candida albicans (popularly known as candida).

Normally present in small amounts along the gastrointestinal tract (in the intestines and the mouth), in the vagina, and on the skin, candida is generally kept in check by the immune system and by the body’s “good” bacteria. Problems arise, however, when candida grows out of control and excessively populates one or more locations in the body.

Vaginal candidiasis. The most common form of candida overgrowth is vaginal candidiasis (a yeast infection), which frequently occurs after taking an extended course of antibiotics. Because antibiotics can kill many kinds of bacteria, often the “good” strains that typically keep candida within bounds can be destroyed along with the “bad.” Candida, however, is unaffected by antibiotics and, in the absence of its natural bacterial counterbalance, proceeds to reproduce wildly. Intense vaginal itching and other discomforts, along with a white discharge, are characteristic signs of a vaginal yeast infection.


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Source: optimalhealthnetwork.com


Oral candidiasis. Candida overgrowth in the mouth, also called oral thrush, can occur in people using steroid inhalers for asthma (steroids encourage candida proliferation), and in breast-fed infants whose mothers are taking antibiotics. Oral thrush also develops in people whose immune systems are severely depleted–for example, those who are undergoing cancer chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy after an organ transplant, or people with AIDS.

Human_tongue_infected_with_oral_candidiasis
Source: Wikipedia


Candida overgrowth syndrome. Vaginal candidiasis, oral thrush, as well as candida overgrowths on the skin such as diaper rash, are common medical conditions, and, when they occur, all physicians agree they should be treated.

 

Key Symptoms of Candidiasis

  • Bloating, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, new sensitivities to commonly eaten foods
  • Fatigue, headache, depression, irritability, disorientation, dizziness, inability to concentrate
  • Sugar cravings, sensitivities to chemicals and perfumes, alcohol intolerance, increased susceptibility to the side effects of medications
  • Muscle and joint aches, sinusitis and recurrent colds, recurrent skin rashes
  • (In women), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), decreased libido, recurrent vaginal yeast infection, vulvar itching or irritation, vaginal burning, pain, soreness, vaginal burning with intercourse or urination, vaginal discharge resembling cottage cheese (thick and white) that is odourless.
  • (In men), prostate and bladder infections


What Causes Candida Overgrowth Syndrome (COS)?

According to nutritionally oriented physicians who are treating candidiasis, the overuse of antibiotics is by far the most frequent cause of the overgrowth. People who have been on antibiotic drugs for long periods of time, to treat acne and recurrent sinus infections, for example are at particularly high risk for developing the disorder. Because antibiotics so effectively wipe out bacteria (both the beneficial strains and the harmful ones), they dramatically disrupt the body’s delicate balance of microorganisms. Candida then takes over.

In addition, medications other than antibiotics can also increase the body’s susceptibility to candida overgrowth. These drugs include birth control pills and oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone), which are commonly prescribed to control inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as lupus.

Besides taking antibiotics and other drugs, there other factors that can increase a person’s susceptibility to COS  which include : stress, a weakened immune system (due to any cause), a high-sugar diet, hormonal changes from pregnancy, and diabetes.

Please Note

Vaginal yeast infections are so common, that self-treatment using over-the-counter preparations is encouraged by most doctors.

This kept me thinking though,  that many people who believe they are suffering from candida overgrowth, in fact, may not have it at all. (This can be a risk of reading a book about a disease and making a self-diagnosis.) Such individuals often spend hundreds of dollars on supplements, which in the end are useless because they never had COS in the first place. Others may confine themselves to extremely restrictive diets, or worry unnecessarily about a condition they do not have. So it is better to go for a check up first to be sure before you start treating yourself.


Tests and Procedures

The tests that nutritionally oriented doctors order include cultures of both vaginal secretions and stool, along with a blood test to measure antibodies and antibody complexes to the candida. The blood test measures levels of three separate antibodies (IgM, IgG, IgA) that the immune system creates if candida is present, as well as levels of candida antigen, created when a particle of a candida breakdown product enters the bloodstream and triggers an antibody response.

According to some doctors, repeating these tests at the end of treatment is a good way to determine if it has been successful. If it has, levels of a number of these measurements will show a decline.

Medications

The doctors will mostly prescribe nystatin (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystex), Itraconazole (Sporanox), and Fluconazole (Diflucan). If these happen to work for you, well and good but if you are still skeptical and you want to try something else, read on.

Treatment and Prevention

Revamp your diet. Some changes in your eating habits are necessary to eliminate a candida overgrowth. Start by increasing your intake of protein and high-fiber vegetables, and by consuming moderate amounts of whole grains and high-carbohydrate vegetables, such as potatoes, beets, and artichokes.

At the same time, try to limit or eliminate sugar from your daily fare because candida thrives on sugar. Fruit, though allowable, is also limited during the treatment phase because of its sugar content.

Prevention: To reduce your risk of developing COS, take measures to:

Avoid unnecessary antibiotic use. This is by far the most common reason people develop candida overgrowth. If you have a medical condition that requires long-term antibiotics, ask your doctor for narrow spectrum antibiotic and to advise which kinds to take which are less damaging.


Important note: When you do get a prescription for an antibiotic, always finish the bottle. By not doing so, the offending bacteria can become more resilient and cause problems later on.

Avoid unnecessary steroid use. If you have a medical condition requiring steroids, work with your doctor to reduce your dose to the lowest amount that is effective for your condition. If you use a steroid inhaler, rinse your mouth after each use. Even the nasal steroid sprays can cause candida problems. Since it’s difficult to rinse your nasal passages, try to use nasal steroid sprays only when absolutely necessary.

Get checked for diabetes, especially if you are middle-aged, obese, or have a positive family history for the condition. People with diabetes are especially susceptible to candida infections.

Supplement Recommendations

Most of the supplements listed below are useful until all candida symptoms have disappeared. Supplement treatment should be continued until diagnostic blood and stool tests show clearing of the candida.

Just a reminder: If you have a serious medical condition, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a program of supplements.
Supplements to treat COS include those that kill the yeast, those that strengthen the immune system, and those that restore “good” bacteria in the intestines.


Echinacea (Echinacea anguvstifolia) boosts the immune system and helps the body battle yeast infections. This herb works best when taken in alternating cycles with other immune-enhancing herbs, such as astragalus or goldenseal.

Garlic (Allium sativum) both enhances immunity and reduces Candida counts in the body. In test-tube studies, garlic has been found to inhibit the growth of candida albicans. It’s also effective against a variety of infectious organisms that damage and invade tissues.

DSC07552
Source: thehealthhoneys.com


Goldenseal and other berberine-containing herbs such as Oregon grape and barberry have been studied for their ability to counteract Candida albicans. Combinations of these herbs are widely used by naturopathic physicians for chronic candida infections. There’s some evidence that goldenseal is effective for COS-related diarrhoea.

Caprylic acid is a fatty acid with anti-fungal actions. It’s made by the body in small amounts, and can also be extracted from plant fats, such as coconut and palm oils. While there isn’t any recent research on caprylic acid, older studies found that when taken orally it can lessen the candida yeast’s ability to grow and replicate.

Oil of oregano and other volatile oils represent the “new generation” of anti-candida preparations. Recent laboratory studies have actually shown that oil of oregano is many times more potent than caprylic acid, although more research into this oil is needed.

Self-Care Remedies (everyone can do this)

  • Begin an exercise program. Regular exercise will help improve your overall well-being and enhance your immune system. You do not have to go to gym, you can do this at home or take jogs  
  • Reduce stress. Learn how to do yoga, pilates, t’ai chi, or meditation, and practice them consistently. Like I said a lot of people will think that they do not have money for Gym but there are a lot of videos of exercises on youtube, take it slow, day by day.
  • Wear cotton or silk underwear. This is particularly important if you are susceptible to recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Nylon or other polyester fabrics can trap moisture, creating an environment friendly to fungal growth.
  • Make sure the under wears are cleaned thoroughly with antibacterial soap before you wear them again. Soak your undies and rewash them to be sure of their cleanness. I have seen some ladies who iron their undies before wearing them again and I respect the extra effort they put in.
  • Learn to change your under wears after few months, you do not have to wear them until they fall apart or you’re tired of them.
  • If you are to wear one underwear for hours, learn to use pant liners and change them whenever you use the bathroom to remain fresh.
  • Avoid commercial feminine products. Some douches, feminine sprays, and perfumed tampons can make COS worse by irritating the delicate vaginal membranes.
  • Eat yogurt. Check the label to be sure it contains active or live cultures of acidophilus; research shows a cup of yogurt a day can reduce the number of vaginal yeast infections a woman has.
  • Increase dietary fiber. Eating enough fiber promotes a daily bowel movement. This will help eliminate the organisms and the toxins that the Candida yeast produces.

This might look like a lot to take in and I know what you are going through but we are WOMEN we fight for our health and for our families. So let’s fight this.

 

EAT HEALTHY, EXERCISE, KEEP YOURSELVES CLEAN, FEEL STRONG AND PROUD.        

                                      

THAT’S THE STRENGTH OF A WOMAN

 

I looked through these websites for research:

Optimalhealthnetwork.com, mindbodygreen.com, webmd.com, wholehealthchicago.com and thecandidadiet.com.

 

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