Have you ever heard of Candida? It’s a small word but the organism can have a world of impact on those who are suffering from an overgrowth infection. Candida, in short, is a naturally occurring yeast/fungus that lives in the body, just like yo have good bacteria. When the balance of yeast and bacteria becomes messed up, and the Candida organism can flourish and cause a wide variety of health complications. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about yeast and the human body.
Everyone Can Suffer from Yeast Infections
There is a misconception that only women can suffer from yeast infections. This isn’t true – at all. While women most commonly suffer from the vaginal variety, there are a ton of other fungal infections caused by Candida as well. These include jock itch, athlete’s foot, oral thrush, and ringworm. This means Candida can affect men and woman of all ages – even babies. According to the CDC, “Candida yeasts normally live ion the skin and mucous membranes without causing infection; however, overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop.”
You Can’t “Catch” Candida, but Antibiotics Make it Worse
The Candida organism lives within your body, so you can’t technically “catch” the condition from others. You can usually catch simple fungal skin irritations from others, but Candidiasis, or the systemic overgrowth, is caused by your own health (or lack thereof). According to research on Body and Health on Canada.com, “The leading cause is the overuse of antibiotics. Yeast must compete for the right to live on us with various other organisms, many of them bacteria.” When we take too many antibiotics, the bacteria can’t continue to fight the levels of yeast in and on the body
Doctors Tend to Mess Up the Diagnosis
That’s not encouraging, is it? Believe it or not, if you don’t have one of the forms of Candida mentioned above, but have a more serious systemic infection, you’ll probably find yourself misdiagnosed at least once. According to Dr. Eric Bakker, there are two main reasons for this happening. The first is the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the second is the way the symptoms of chronic Candida mimic other major conditions.
Sugar Doesn’t Cause Candida
There are some people out there who will tell you that sugar causes Candida infections. While sugar doesn’t have to cause Candida, per say, it definitely contributes to the ability of the Candida organism to thrive. If you are a healthy person, eating fruit and the occasional sweet treat probably won’t make much of a difference. If you’re already immune compromised, diabetic, or suffering from some other illness, the increased sugar in your bloodstream will certainly make things more difficult to handle.
Candida and Fibromyalgia, CFS, and IBS
Not everyone with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or IBS will have Candida, but quite a few actually do. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, if you have one of these conditions “You probably have an overgrowth of yeast or Candida. Though poorly understood by most physicians, treating this underlying infection can have profound health benefits.” As a matter of fact, treating your Candida with a natural diet and anti-fungal medications, like the plan outlined in Eric Bakker’s Candida Crusher book suggests, you should not only start to feel better but may experience complete relief from these debilitating conditions.
Acute Conditions often Hide Chronic Conditions
If you suffer from frequent fungal conditions, like vaginal yeast infections or even athlete’s foot, you may need to take a step back and consider your treatment methods. Those who have a one-time problem can usually treat themselves with OTC medications and go about their lives. Those who are plagued with the same infection over and over again need to consider the common threads. Are you constantly taking antibiotics? Do you drink a lot of alcohol? Do you live a stressful life? All of these things can contribute to an imbalance in your body’s homeostasis, allowing yeast to flourish.
Alcohol is a Huge Culprit
While you may not want to hear it, it’s definitely true. The consumption of alcohol plays a huge role in the way Candida is allowed to grow and flourish in your body. According to Dr. Bakker, “The more resistant the patient is in wanting to give up alcohol entirely (and I absolutely mean 100%) for at least 4 months to allow the digestive system to fully recover, the more likely it will be the alcohol is a major causative factor, and is continuing to underpin the yeast condition.” This doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to enjoy a drink again in your life, but if you’re seriously suffering, you’re going to have to give it up for a while.
At the end of the day, you can’t avoid the Candida yeast organism 100%. You’re living with it right now. What you can do is take action to make sure you’re keeping your body and health in balance; and talk to doctor sooner rather than later if you experience odd symptoms. The sooner you start to treat a Candida yeast infection, the better off you’ll be.