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Candida Yeast - Brewing Up Trouble

Pounds of bacteria and yeasts fill our bowels and line our cavities. Your immune system counted all this flora and fauna as the good guys, but antibiotics or steroids such as cortisone, or natural events like pregnancy or high stress levels can kill off the good bacteria.

Pounds of bacteria and yeasts fill our bowels and line our cavities. Candida albicans is a single cell yeast that lives on sugars and clones itself by budding new cells. The bacteria around it make the B-vitamin biotin, and also lactic acid, which control the yeasts. Your immune system counted all this flora and fauna as the good guys when it came online at about 3 to 6 months of age. It will not react to them.

Antibiotics or steroids such as cortisone, or natural events like pregnancy or high stress levels can kill off the good bacteria. The yeast can suddenly bloom into its fungal or mold form. The cells begin to grow end-to-end into filaments. When two meet they can mate and form many spores. When all the wild sex is over, there are millions of spores that can sprout into new fungal cells. They punch into the tissue, irritating and making the lining of the gut leaky to large molecules. This creates food allergy reactions in the blood. Immune cells set about attacking the new fungal coating, creating inflammation.

The major symptoms of Candida overgrowth are fatigue, periods of mental spaciness, gas, bloating, and constipation, diarrhea (or both alternating). Foods with a lot of sugar, yeast raised breads, and yeast fermented drinks like beer and wine often trigger the worst flare-ups. The whole body can suffer from the stress on the immune system and the toxic wastes the yeasts brew up.

The fungal Candida cannot go back to being a simple yeast on its own. An antifungal medicine is essential, and the safest and fastest I know of is only available from naturopathic doctors. A diet low in sugars and yeast foods is helpful, although only to speed the action of the medication. The good bacteria must be restored, to fill the place left by the fungus as it dies, and to prevent future conversion of the yeast into fungus. With good care most people feel a little ill as the fungus breaks up, then sharply better by about 2 weeks of care, and the fungus is usually gone by 4 weeks. The good bacteria take a few more weeks to recolonize.

Some patients suffer another episode of Candidiasis after some months or years, but many do not. Prevention includes replacing the good bacteria after any treatment with antibiotics, moderation of sugary foods, and a high fibre diet rich in vegetables and whole grain.