Monday, June 1, 2009

Candida Overgrowth

You have most likely heard of Candida before; it's a genus of infection-causing yeast. You've probably heard of it within the context of female yeast infections, but did you know that Candida is hardly limited to “down-there” difficulties? In fact, once it becomes systemic – meaning that it enters the bloodstream – Candida can cause symptoms that many physicians are calling an “epidemic.” It can affect anyone: man, woman, or child.

Candida isn't always bad; in fact, it is present in the naturally occurring flora of the mouth, throat, skin, digestive system (in both men and women), and in the vagina, and its growth is controlled by the presence of good bacteria. But when we are exposed to things that kill off the protective bacteria, the yeast can grow out of control. If it is allowed to grow unchecked, it actually becomes a mold, with roots (or rhizomes) that puncture the intestinal walls. Once that happens, undigested proteins, food particles, and more Candida can leak from the intestine into the bloodstream – which can cause a host of other problems, such as food allergies/sensitivities, that are typically misdiagnosed as something else. Or, worse yet, never diagnosed at all; many sufferers of chronic Candida infection have tried, and failed, to control symptoms with a variety of treatments (including antibiotics, which can make the infection worse) – only to give up and live with the discomfort.

You may have Systemic Candidiasis – a chronic yeast infection of the bloodstream – or be at an increased risk if you have:
• Taken oral antibiotics or oral acne medication
• Been on birth control pills
• Used corti-steroids, such as prednisone
• Weakened immunity due to illness or stress
• A diet with an overabundance of sugar, which feeds the yeast
• Recurrent yeast or fungal infections of the skin, nails, or mucus membranes
• White patches or a white coating on the tongue

Systemic Candida infections can cause a myriad of seemingly unrelated difficulties, including:
• Chronic fatigue
• Difficulty losing weight
• Recurrent yeast, fungal, or urinary infections
• Acne
• Mood swings, irritability or emotional instability
• Aching joints
• Unexplained muscle pain
• Poor memory and/or lack of concentration
• Allergies
• Severe symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you fit into one or more of the high-risk categories listed above, it may be time to consider a systemic yeast infection as a possible suspect. Systemic Candidiasis can be successfully controlled through several methods, including dietary changes (a complete refrain from simple, refined sugars and a cutback in carbohydrate intake) and intravenous ozone therapy.


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