Have you ever wondered, What Is Candida?
Candida is yeast, considered a normal part of our bowel flora.
Where Does It Live?
Generally, this yeast exists in the mouth, throat, intestines, and genitourinary tract. Its purpose is to fight off harmful bacteria that it encounters in the body.
Its presence in the body is not problematic; as long as a balanced, well-functioning immune system and friendly bacteria exist in the body.
Candida and The Immune System
If the immune system doesn’t function properly, then Candida overgrowth may occur. This occurs when the level of friendly bacteria in the body becomes too low. This can happen when introducing too many antibiotics to the body.
Other things that contribute to Candida overgrowth are toxic metals – such as mercury found in dental amalgams; genetic disorders; hormonal imbalance brought on by pregnancy, birth control pills, or a thyroid disorder. Even drinking too much alcohol kills friendly bacteria and allows them to grow.
How Does Candida Affect The Body?
It releases toxins into the blood. Among these are ethanol, which may cause symptoms of alcohol intoxication. Also, acetaldehyde, another released toxin, can damage organs and contribute to memory loss and distorted thinking.
Is It Contagious?
Obviously, it cannot be taken lightly because it is contagious. It cannot become airborne. But, it can be transmitted via sexual contact. However, if the other person has a healthy immune system, Candida cannot survive. So, that person will suffer no symptoms.
Candida is also difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons.
It shares symptoms with other conditions such as gluten intolerance and hypothyroidism. Any combination of these can be present simultaneously, adding to the difficulty of diagnosis. Even healthy people have it present in their systems. So, simply establishing its presence does not make for a diagnosis.
Available tests may recognize only a few of the 150 known strains of Candida. The cells in the specimen may not survive while waiting for analysis, which may result in a false normal diagnosis.
Along with the test, other factors demand consideration before a diagnosis can be made.
Other Factors In The Diagnosis
A doctor considers if the patient has a history of factors that may cause Candida infections. If any symptoms are present, the doctor identifies and notes these as well.
Additionally, the knowledgeable physician will experiment with dietary and antifungal therapy to see if there are reactions consistent with overgrowth.
Once the presence of an infection has been established there are a variety of ways to alleviate symptoms and bring the Candida under control.
When Candida is present, discontinue the use of antibiotics. Anti-fungal treatments, such as fluconazole, nystatin, and ketoconazole, may be prescribed.
Recommended changes to the diet restore balance to the system. Elimination of sugars and white starches with the addition of essential oils and acidophilus helps greatly.
The diagnosis and treatment may be difficult. But, a return to good health is well worth the journey.