Candidiasis is an infection with a fungus of the Candida strain, usually limited to the skin and mucous membranes, but sometimes is systemic and life-threatening. Candida albicans are a single cell yeast/fungus that is found in practically 100% of the population. It lives on the mucous membranes of the body, the digestive/intestinal tract, vagina and the skin. Most important , in the proper environment, Candida albicans will co-exist with no negative side effects. So to understand, diagnose, and treat “candidemia,” we must understand what causes the Candida albicans relationship in our bodies to change from a saprophytic to a parasitic one.
Most researchers agree that the pathogenesis of “candidemia” is primarily due to an altered/improper balance of gut microflora. This is a result of primarily: 1) the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in both people and animals/food, 2) high beef, fat, sugar, and low fiber diets, 3) use of birth control pills, cortisone, cortisone-like drugs and immunosuppressant drugs.
As a result we end up with a drastic imbalance of the microecology in our body. This allows the Candida yeast and other “enemies” to over-populate, convert into a fungal form which produces some 70 neurotoxins, and irritate the gut lining to the point of allowing macromolecular absorption of many things not designed to enter into the circulatory system including the Candida albicans, toxins, and potential allergens. It is therefore extremely important to identify and implement a program designed to approach this problem. Symptoms include headache, heartburn, yeast vaginitis, fatigue, Hay fever, depression, gastritis, irregular menses, joint pain/stiffness, sinusitis, lethargy, colitis, cramping, cold hands/feet, earaches, agitation, distension/bloating, endometriosis, increased body hair, hives, hyperirritability, gas, cystitis, numbness/tingling, asthma, memory loss, constipation, urethritis, food cravings, food/chemical, inability to concentrate, diarrhea, kidney/bladder Infections, loss of libido, environment and food sensitivities.
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with candida over-growth includes more than the standard medical approach to candidemia which is the idea of finding something that “kills off” only Candida albicans and doing nothing else. This is not a very logical approach since even if you COULD kill them off completely, they would just come back as soon as treatment would stop. Since they are found practically everywhere it is essentially impossible to prevent their re-entry into the body. A more logical focus of nutritional treatment protocols should be to create an environment which keeps this naturally occurring yeast form at an appropriate saprophytic population concentration as well as keeping it in its yeast form by preventing its conversion to the mycelial/fungal form of the organism. This includes following an anti-candida meal plan specific for creating an environment in which candida does not live well, but supports the growth and colonization of your good bacteria, anti-microbials to minimize the growth of the candida, probiotics to colonize good flora, detox supports since it is the mico-toxins that the yeast releases that give you the most symptoms.