Fungus: The Invisible Illness
Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus and exists within most people in limited amounts in the digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum. It loves dark, moist places as all fungus does. In healthy people, candida albicans exists in small colonies and is kept balanced by the beneficial bacteria which co-exist with it.
Health problems arise when, because of a variety of causes, the body’s defense capability becomes deficient or weakens. When this happens, the controls that usually keep Candida in check are removed, and the yeast can spread to areas that are normally out of bounds. A combination of factors can cause the disruption in the normal balance of yeast-fungus and beneficial bacteria, some of which are: Drug therapy – especially antibiotics, the Pill and corticosteroids (immunosuppressant types of drugs); a Diet high in sugar/starch including fruits, Grains: breads/pasta and breakfast cereal, alcoholic beverages, and other food items containing mycotoxins (molds/yeasts); stress/exhaustion and mold in the environment.
The fact that Candida causes different reactions in the people it affects and can be hidden in its relation to other conditions, such as allergies, depression, and chemical sensitivities is a major reason that this Candida/Fungal related ‘syndrome’ has not been accepted by much of the medical community. Looking at one’s medical history, utilizing a yeast/fungal questionnaire listing symptoms, changing the diet – depriving the source of its growth, and taking natural antifungals will reveal very quickly if there is fungal involvement. This is one of the very few instances in which the treatment is the main means of diagnosis.
What are some of the symptoms? Candida can affect all 9 systems of the body: digestive, nervous, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, reproductive, urinary, endocrine and musculoskeletal. The toxins secreted by Candida affect each system and each system affects the others. The person suffering from this condition usually experiences a combination of fatigue, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression and headaches; combined with poor dietary habits, chronic stress and little or no tolerance for exercise. Abdominal bloating is a frequent problem and is linked to the types of food ingested – refined foods and those high in sugar/starch (including alcohol). Often this person has a history of treatment with drugs for recurrent infections like sinusitis, earaches, urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, bronchitis, etc.
I have developed a three-part approach with which I have seen very good results.
Part I is diet and lifestyle changes. This does include the removal of all grains (source of starch/sugar) and fruits and starchy vegetables from the diet for a time. Many people are also intolerant to the gluten and mycotoxic mold contained in nuts, grains and seeds. A moderate Ketogenic Diet high in fats is highly effective. Lifestyle changes can include looking at stress-laden relationships or employment, increasing exercise, learning proper breathing, dry-skin brushing, castor oil packs, etc.;
Part II is a fiber/antifungal mix recipe. This mix will thicken intestinally and move through the small intestine and colon (large intestine) like a broom, shifting the mucus and biofilm off the wall where these pathogens like to hide and colonize. Natural liquid antifungals in this mix must be rotated regularly to keep the candida/fungus from surviving by changing strains;
Part III is regular colon cleansing along with the above two steps, followed further down the road by liver cleansing. After we have created ‘space’ in the intestinal tract by destroying pathogens, we can then get about the business of reseeding those spaces with healthy bacteria and creating a healthy biome.
I have also appreciated and utilized oxygen/ozone therapy to invigorate the body, and lift the immune system, while the above program is being utilized. Further detoxification by opening the pores using a medical ozone sauna will invigorate the blood and lymph system, hastening recovery.
Candida has become a ‘buzz word’ in our natural health workshops and programs, but very few truly understand its tenacity and will to survive at all costs. The immune system is key to recovery, but it is severely compromised by the 100+ paralyzing toxins given off by mycotoxic/fungal infections in the body. I don’t promote many herb or vitamin supplements initially while the body systems are already overwhelmed. Quite often this can land the sufferer in bed, or in more despair. Mycotoxic/fungal infestation is not typically the root cause of a disease condition, but it’s always a player; the opportunist that proliferates at such levels that it often disguises the ‘first cause’ of the illness.