Candida: Its Classification, Causes, and Killer Creations
Helen has been seeing doctors on and off now for five years. She is tired all the time, her brain feels foggy, causing her to have to muddle through thoughts when she is trying to think, her stomach bloats up when she eats, and she gets stomach pain off and on. She has painful gas and body aches and pains, making her feel like she has the flu most of the time. All in all, she feels sick all the time, and she feels older than what she is. Helen’s doctor cannot find anything wrong.
Joey has been dealing with the inability to lose weight since he was eighteen. One contributing factor is that he craves sugar all the time. He is constantly battling Athletes foot, indigestion, and eczema. He has a non-stop sinus infection and gets persistent headaches, wheezing, and pain in his chest. His friends were always saying he seems “spaced-out”, but that is because he was. He tried to ignore the symptoms, but they were too bothersome. He finally went to the doctor only to be told that there was nothing showing up on tests, and to increase his allergy medication.
Shauna could not tolerate the smells of things like smoke, perfume, cleaners, and fumes. She had constipation, itchy skin, and memory loss. Her muscles ached, and her mouth always felt dry. She was fighting an on-going battle with depression, irritability, anxiety, and mood swings. Shauna’s doctor wanted to send her over to mental health, saying it was all in her head… well all except for the bladder and kidney infections and yeast infections that kept returning, but they could not explain those either.
What do all these people have in common? What might they have in common with you? All three of these people suffer from Candida, or Yeast Overgrowth. Approximately 6 million people have systemic Candidiasis, about 70% of which are women. Are you one of them?
What is Candidiasis?
Candida is type of yeast. It grows naturally in your intestines and is a necessary part of your digestive system. It is normally kept under control by the “good” bacteria in your gut, which feeds on Candida, but it can quickly multiply and take over in the right, or should I say wrong, conditions. When this happens, causing a fungal infection, it is termed Candidiasis.
Candidiasis has different degrees of severity, ranging from “superficial” to “systemic”. Yeast infections in the breast of lactating women, those in the genitalia, and oral yeast infections, also known as Thrush, are examples of superficial Candidiasis. When superficial Candidiasis is allowed to fester and grow, the Candida can work its way out of the stomach and intestine and into the blood stream. Once there, it can attack any number of organs. At this point, you are dealing with systemic Candidiasis, which can be deadly.
How Do I Know If I Have a Yeast Overgrowth?
Have you have taken any antibiotics in the last six months? Have you ever taken an extended course of antibiotics? Have you been, or are you now, on birth control? Have you ever had a bladder infection or yeast infection or been pregnant? Have you been on steroids, like Prednisone, at any time? Have you been inflicted with a fungal infection, like jock itch, ring worm, or athlete’s foot? Do fumes, cigarette smoke, perfumes, or cleaners really bother you? If you have said “yes” to any one or more of these, you may have a yeast overgrowth.
The prominent symptoms of Candidiasis differ from person to person, as there is a wide range of symptoms, and as every person will not have every one of them. Symptoms of a yeast overgrowth include:
• reoccurring vaginal or oral thrush
• nail fungus and/ or athlete’s foot
• difficulty focusing or thinking straight
• abnormal fatigue
• indigestion and/ or acid reflux
• bloating after meals
• stomach pain
• reoccurring UTIs
• food allergies
• craving sweets or alcohol
• atopic dermatitis and/ or eczema
• continuing sinus drainage and/ or inflammation that is uncured by antibiotics
• unintended weight fluctuations (gain or loss)
• symptoms of arthritis
• itchy eyes, ears, genitals, anus, or skin
• anxiety and/ or depression
• hair loss
• spots in front of your eyes and/ or vision problems
• frequent headaches and/ or migraines
• diarrhea and/ or constipation
• PMS, mood swings, and/ or irritability
• a nagging cough
• muscle weakness
• problems remembering simple things
• ear pain
• low, or no, sex drive
• sore throat
• difficulty learning
• decrease in reasoning abilities, intelligence, or other mental capabilities
• frequent pain
Since these many symptoms of Candida overgrowth and Candidiasis can also be prevalent in other health issues, it is important to let your doctor rule out all other possible illnesses before diagnosing yourself with Candida. There is no reliable medical test for diagnosing Candida in patients. There is a questionnaire in The Yeast Connection, a book by Dr. Crook, which you can take to help diagnose Candida.
Practitioners of Natural Medicine use something they call the “spit test”. Some doctors claim this free test is unreliable, but others swear by it. It has been proven to be as accurate as the tests medical doctors perform without the added cost. To perform this test:
1. Place a fresh glass of water on your bed stand before bed.
2. As soon as you wake up, use some of the water to quickly rinse out your mouth.
3. Swallow the water.
4. Gather a good bit of saliva (Make sure it is not mucous).
5. Spit in the water.
6. If the water remains clear, and as long as the spit stays floating on top of the water, for half an hour, you are probably Candida-free.
7. If you have Candidiasis, or a yeast overgrowth, your saliva will sink within that half hour. It may do this in the form of cloudy specks floating in the center of the water, strings that dangle from the floating spit, or some of your saliva may sink to the bottom of the glass.
8. If it starts sinking in the first three minutes, your Candida overgrowth is probably extensive, but if it does not begin to sink until after the first few minutes, then your yeast overgrowth is not as bad.
The “spit test” works for a few reasons. Saliva will have yeast in it if there is a Candida overgrowth, in fact, it will concentrate in it while you are sleeping. Spit is lighter than water. Candida is heavier than water.
How Do You Get a Candida Infection?
Candida lives harmlessly in your body unless something causes it to repopulate quickly, overgrowing the “good bacteria” that is there to “eat” it. When this overgrowth happens, you end up with Candidiasis. There are 14 things that will cause Candida to multiply. One, or any combination of any of these, can cause Candidiasis:
• Antibiotics kill off the “good” bacteria, which kills Candida, allowing it to over-grow.
• Birth control contains estrogen, which promotes yeast growth.
• High stress levels cause your body to create the hormone, Cortisol, which raises your sugar and depresses your immune system. Elevated sugar feeds yeast, causing overgrowth, and, with the immune system compromised, your body has no defense against it.
• Tap water that is high in chlorine will kill the “good” bacteria, allowing yeast to thrive.
• More than 85% of North Americans and Canadians have parasites or intestinal worms, most of them without having any idea they do. These kill the “good” bacterium, which, again, allows Candida to multiply.
• Constipation creates an alkaline environment, which Candida thrives in.
• Alcohol kills the “good” bacteria and feeds the yeast at the same time.
• Hypothyroidism disrupts the digestive track, causing less digestive juices, which kills “good” bacteria, and causing constipation. Candida thrives in these conditions.
• A weakened immune system, caused by AIDS, cancer, or anything else that causes an immune deficiency, will lower the body’s defenses and allow Candida to over-grow.
• An imbalance between the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, will kill “good” bacteria and let Candida multiply.
• Overdoing bowel cleansing and colonic irrigation will allow Candida to grow.
• High blood sugar due to diabetes feeds yeast.
• Copper, Mercury, and Arsenic, toxic metals found in tap water and dental fillings, disable the immune system and multiplies Candida.
• The “good” bacteria create acid, which controls Candida growth, but taking antacids disrupt that process and allows Candida to grow rapidly.