What is Candidiasis and who gets it? Why should I worry about it?

Candidiasis is an infection caused by a group of yeasts. There are more than 20 species of Candida, the most common being Candida albicans [1].

Examples of such infections are vaginal yeast infections (thrush), oral thrush, skin and nappy rash, and nail bed infections. These are the most common and well known forms of yeast infections.

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But some people with weakened immune systems develop a systemic illness caused by Candida.

Factors including diabetes, pregnancy, iron, folate and vitamin B12 or zinc deficiency or use of antihistamines, can increase the risk of Candida infections. Stress and depression that will weaken your immune system can also cause or worsen candidiasis.

Systemic candida infections are very difficult to diagnose and sometimes it is even called “mystery illness” for people who have a basket of diverse symptoms from muscle aches, fatigue, bloating and recurrent thrush to extreme craving for sugar and alcohol, hyperactivity or persistent extreme fatigue.

According to Dr. William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection, an overgrowth of Candida albicans can lead to the development of chronic health problems, such as yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain, and migraines in both men and women.

Did you know that there are 79 different toxins released by the metabolism and die-off of Candida? This is why people with yeast overgrowth often feel so lousy; the Candida toxins are regularly entering their bloodstream.

Dr. Hunter of Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge believes that the source of so-called candida symptoms is in fact food intolerance, caused by the abnormal fermentation of bacterial flora in the gut.

We know that about 80% of immunity is located in the gut, so it makes sense that by improving digestion through diet and lifestyle changes one could address underlying cause like candida infection.

We’ve heard that ‘Candida feeds on sugar’. It makes sense because sugar is used to grow and to build their cell walls, which are comprised of 80% carbohydrates [2].

The bad news is that we are eating more and more sugar every year. In fact it is estimated that on average we consume more than three times the recommended amount of added sugar!

So even if you don’t have candidiasis why not give your body a break from sugar and see how much better you feel. We get carbohydrates not just from sugar, but from refined grains, fruits and added sugars and sweeteners to food and drinks.

Yes, fruit too, because it has fructose and it is especially harmful says Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. Mercola [3].

Candida diet plan

In order to prevent yeast overgrowth, you need to create an environment that makes it more difficult for fungus to thrive. Typically, you can do this by making the following lifestyle changes:

1. Eat the Best Diet for You – a diet rich in protein (animal protein, seeds and nuts), vegetables, and healthy oils (free range and organic), while avoiding sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods, will restrict the amount of fuel the yeast in your intestine has available to it. You can find a full list of foods to eat and avoid on the candida diet website.

2. Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste products from your cells.

When it is functioning poorly, viruses, bacteria and fungi can accumulate in the system, creating a great breeding area for Candida.

candida diet plan_2

3. Get plenty of good bacteria that keep your vagina and gastrointestinal tract healthy and will ultimately replace the Candida.

A good probiotic with plenty of prebiotic from fermented drinks and vegetables would be extremely beneficial.

 4. Cleanse and detoxify the body regularly.

 5. Address Emotional Issues – like stress and food cravings, especially those for sweets. Use exercise, EFT and other techniques to distress and refocus.

Once you break your friendship with sugar, you will feel like a “million bucks” again.  It may seem like a difficult and complicated process, but it is worth it in the end.

You can check out a solid fasting diet plan for losing weight.

Reference:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidiasis

[2] http://www.yeastinfectionadvisor.com/structureofcandida.html

[3] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/30/fructose-and-protein-related-to-obesity.aspx

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