Monday, August 1, 2011

How to Heal Candida Naturally

Clear fungal infections and stay candida free for life

Many people complain about declining health and number of recurrent disparate symptoms for which there seem to be no explanation. The ailments are often dismissed as psychosomatic or treated with antibiotics - a practice that only worsens the overall condition of a patient. A thorough examination, however, may show that a person suffers from candidiasis - a fungal infection caused by number of Candida species, most commonly by Candida albicans. Candidiasis infections range from superficial, such as skin infections which are relatively easy to cure, to poly-systemic mycosis that can be life threatening if not diagnosed and medicated properly.

Candida albicans together with many other microorganisms constitutes the flora which colonizes our internal and external bodily surfaces soon after birth. Our health and well being depend on a balance between various microorganisms, especially the balance between the good and the harmful microorganisms in the intestines. Researchers identified about 400 different species of microflora that can live in the gut. Most of these organisms are transient and occur in small numbers.

In healthy people Candida albicans remains non-invasive. However, when the balance of the intestinal flora is damaged due to poor diet, toxins, use of laxatives, medication with antibiotics, or stress, the balance between the health promoting lacto- and bifidobacteria and the harmful organisms normally present in the intestines, is disturbed. The beneficial organisms die out while pathogens proliferate. With the decrease of the protective friendly flora our system is open to invasion and colonization by harmful opportunistic organisms including Candida albicans. With the increased numbers, the normally harmless microorganisms begin to cause harm in the body.

The resulting imbalance leads to many ailments including:
  • digestive disorders 
  • insufficient nutrient absorption 
  • recurrent infections due to poorly functioning immune system 
  • inflammation 
  • hormonal imbalance 
  • skin ailments and allergies
  • mental and emotional disorders
Some health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, diabetes, intestinal toxicity, and chronic stress, allow candida overgrowth. These conditions have to be addressed if one wants to cure Candida and avoid new Candida infections in the future. 

Candida albicans is a single cell dimorphic organism. It can change its morphology from the non-invasive sugar-fermenting yeast to mycelial, rhizoids producing invasive mold. In its invasive form Candida albicans can penetrate the gastrointestinal mucosa, thus breaking the boundary between the digestive tract and the rest of the body. It enters the blood stream and infests other organs of the body. Moreover, it releases antigenic material and toxic by-products of its own metabolism into the body of a host. Researchers identified 79 toxins produced by Candida. The immune system reacts frantically by producing antibodies to all the toxins. This indiscriminate reaction leads to hypersensitivity that characterizes poly-systemic chronic candidiasis. An infected person becomes sensitive to scents and odors, feels dizzy and wakes up in the morning feeling "inebriated".

Diagnosis includes several tests of stool cultures and a blood test, as well as a very reliable organic acid urine test. Once positive diagnosis has been made, a patient is given anti fungal medication. Unfortunately, fungicides are either ineffective or harmful to the liver and many people turn to alternative therapies. A successful healing strategy involves destruction of harmful organisms, detoxification, reconstruction of the mucosa, and restoration of the immune system.

A patient has to follow strict anti-candida diet in order to "starve" Candida. Since yeasts are able to ferment dietary sugar, sugar promotes the growth of yeast and has to be avoided in all its forms (saccharose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and fructose). Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, should also be eliminated from the diet. Alcohol, vinegar, and stimulants such as coffee and soda should be avoided and replaced with purified water. Patients are advised not to consume any processed foods as they may contain sugar and other substances detrimental to health. Complex carbohydrates, non-starchy vegetables, lean meat and fish should be consumed instead. Foods such as garlic, non-pasteurized lactic acid fermented sauerkraut, virgin coconut oil, foods with high fiber content, and natural, sugar-free organic yogurt with live cultures, are beneficial. Yeast- and lactose-free nutritional supplements should support healthy diet. Supplements are to be taken to destroy the candida overgrowth, repopulate the intestinal tract with beneficial organisms, and to restore gastrointestinal health and the immune system.
Supplements with Candida healing properties:
  • Caprylic acid
  • Clove oil
  • Colloidal silver
  • Enzymes, especially Cellulase and Hemicellulase
  • Mastic gum
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Oil of oregano
  • Propolis
  • Pau d'arco
  • Tea tree oil applied topically (to heal athlete's foot or nail fungus)
Supplements to restore the gastrointestinal tract:
  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Fiber
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • CoQ 10
  • L-Glutamine
  • Phosphatidyl choline
  • Chromium polynicotinate
  • Vanadium sulfate
  • Bioflavonids, especially Quercetine
  • Betaine HCL
Supplements to support immune system:
  • Colostrum
  • L-Arginine
  • Organic germanium
  • Plant sterols
  • Probiotics
  • Reishi mushroom extract
  • Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E
A word about mushrooms

It is often wrongly assumed, that consumption of mushrooms will worsen candida. This reasoning uses simple generalization and species analogy in which fungus supposedly nourishes fungus. It has to be mentioned that Candida albicans, both as yeast and in its mycelin form, is a different species than mushrooms such as reishi. The popular belief is that by consuming mushrooms one is feeding candida and causing it to grow. It is however forgotten that candida cannot ferment and digest other fungus or mushrooms. It does not feed on mushrooms. It thrives on sugar. And while the Candida overgrowth is a condition that has to be addressed, medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake, and maitake have been used for centuries to detoxify and strengthen the body and to restore the immune system. Some medicinal mushrooms contain compounds that show amazingly strong anti-fungal activity and can be safely used to curtail the Candida infection. 
Candida die off reactions 

As I mentioned before, the goal of an Anti-Candida program is to destroy the yeast overgrowth, especially the Candida albicans in its mycelial form. Depending on a person's physical condition and the stage of Candida, one may experience mild to a more severe reactions that are known as the Herxheimer reaction. As the Candida dies rapidly after anti fungal herbs and supplements have been introduced into the system, it releases large amount of toxins. This leads to a toxic overload. The immune system and the detoxification pathways in the body are overwhelmed in already weakened patient. One may experience symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, joint and muscle pain, skin rush. It is important to continue the Anti-Candida program and support the system with a lighter diet, purified water and plenty of rest. It may be necessary to reduce the dose of the anti-fungal one is taking, but one should never be tempted to stop the program. The preliminary symptoms clear as soon as the endotoxins have been cleared from the body.  

The anti fungal therapy may seem very complex, but the protocols have to be followed consequently and with determination. It is possible to naturally restore the balance of microorganisms in the body and this takes time. With a little help, the body is able to reactivate its own healing mechanisms. 

To support the healing process detoxify your environment and avoid contact with harmful chemicals. Moderate physical activity and relaxation will help you stay fit and reduce the stress that is perpetuating your condition. Find an experienced health practitioner and join a support group. Your self-discipline and perseverance will pay off and you will be able to enjoy healthy, symptom-free life again. 

By Dominique Allmon  

*This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. Please, consult your health care provider before commencing self-medication.

Creative Commons License
How to Heal Candida Naturally by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.