Candida is a yeast found naturally on the skin, in the mouth, in the GI tract and in the vagina. As candida is a fungi, it needs a host in order to survive. Usually candida and the host live in a symbiotic relationship, with balanced amount of friendly bacteria and the yeast. Instead of simply getting a free ride, candida may actually do some good for us, as some believe the yeast may actually produce some B and K vitamins. Too much candida though, is however a problem. Candida can eventually eat through the intestinal wall and invade the blood stream, releasing toxins as they continue to metabolize their food. The skin will try and dispose of these toxins leading to skin conditions, such as hives, rashes, and psoriasis.
Causes of Candidiasis
Candidiasis, the overgrowth of candida yeast, can be the result of many different things, but most common is the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics do a great job at killing unwanted bacteria in our bodies, but they also eliminate much of the good bacteria. Yeast is not a bacteria, thus candida is not affected by antibiotics, rather it happily multiplies and starts taking over the now vacated places once belonging to bacteria. I’m not denying that there may be emergencies where antibiotics are needed, but they are prescribed way too much by today’s doctors. Honestly, if your doctor prescribes antibiotics for a cold or soar throat, you should fire him, especially since the cold is a viral infection not bacterial! If you must take antibiotics, please make sure to include either a probiotic supplement or lots of probiotic containing foods in your diet like organic sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, or kefir.
Another cause of candidiasis in women are birth control pills. They influence hormones and lead to an estrogen dominant environment, which, along with other side effects, does contribute to candida overgrowth.
Diet can also be influential in the development and reversal of candidiasis. Because candida lives off of sugar, a diet high in sugar and processed carbs – the typical North American diet – is quite simply giving the candida an open invitation to overrun the body. Any effort to restore balance between candida and friendly flora must also concentrate on diet any order to be effective. Removing absolutely all sugar, be it processed or natural sugar, and processed foods is critical.
Stress strongly influences candida growth. A healthy immune system will have no problem controlling candida, while a depressed immune system will struggle. Anything that inhibits the immune system, such as illness or disease can influence an overgrowth of candida. Possibly, the number one immune depressant plaguing many today is stress. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone that actually depresses your immune system while simultaneously increasing blood sugar levels. Prolonged stress is quite literally providing the candida all the food it wants in an environment that supports excess growth.
Photo cred: http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/candida-and-inflammation