» Candida Albicans - What is it?
Candida is a micro-organism which naturally lives in the human body. It is a yeast like fungus which is present in many of us. There are around 150 known species of Candida, the most common species being Candida albicans. Candida often lives harmlessly in the body. It mainly populates the gut where it is kept in check by many different species of beneficial bacteria. If your balance of good bacteria is disrupted it can result in a candida overgrowth and cause a Candida yeast infection known as candidiasis. Candida also lives on the skin and will survive almost everywhere in the body. When a superficial Candida yeast infection is not dealt with by the body, candida can enter the bloodstream travelling around the body populating anywhere it can survive and may become deeply rooted. This is known as chronic or systemic candidiasis.
Candida is an extremely opportunistic micro-organism and can easily grow out of control when the body’s environment allows it. It is Candida albicans that is the most invasive species and is usually responsible for candidiasis however other species such as Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei and Candida lusitaniae are common.
Candida Yeast Infection - Candidiasis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Causes - There are many factors that can cause candida to overgrow and become a problem. Poor diet, stress, allergies, alcohol, impaired digestive function, cosmetics, compromised immune system, chlorinated water, low pH, and drugs are all thought to be possible causes of candidiasis. As candida is so invasive and opportunistic, problems in any of these areas can allow candida to flourish and overgrow. When candida starts to cause a problem it is often deeply rooted and can be extremely difficult to remedy. To make sure you have the best chances of balancing your candida levels make sure that you take into consideration all possible causes and deal with them first.
Candida & Diet - Refined sugar and carbohydrates feed candida - cut out the sugars to take the fuel away from the candida. A good diet is key to a healthy body and will help maintain the immune system, keeping candida at bay.
Candida & Stress - When we are stressed, a chemical called cortisol is released. Cortisol not only raises sugar levels, feeding candida, but it also suppresses the immune system making it harder for our body to fight candida overgrowth.
Candida & Allergies - Candida in some cases can cause new allergies. When candida levels start to spiral out of control, it may burrow through the intestinal walls, creating holes in which toxic or over-sized molecules can pass into the blood stream, known as leaky gut syndrome.
Candida & Alcohol - Too much alcohol can kill the beneficial bacteria which help keep candida under control. Many alcoholic drinks contain excess sugars which can also feed candida.
Candida & Immune System - An impaired immune system can be a massive cause of candidiasis. If the body has no way of fighting unwanted candida it will flourish until levels become so high, it will be able to travel around the body causing systemic candidiasis.
Candida & Chlorinated Water - We all know that chlorine is added to our tap water to kill any harmful bacteria which may have contaminated the water supply. Unfortunately it also kills our beneficial bacteria which are essential in keeping candida levels normal. There are also many other contaminants present in tap water which can have a profound effect on your bodies ability to keep candida in check.
Candida & pH - Candida thrives in acidic environments. Not only does an acidic environment promote the growth of candida it impairs immune function, taking away your ability to fight candida infections. An alkaline body is key to good general health but also helps keep yeast infections at bay.
Candida & The Digestive System - Digestive disorders can also play a role in candidiasis. Bowel disorders such as constipation cause food matter to move more slowly through your digestive system. This lowers the pH making your digestive tract more acidic creating an environment in which candida thrives.
Candida & Drugs - Some drugs may have side-effects which can in some cases impair the function of the immune and digestive systems. This is good news for candida but bad news for you. Treatments such as chemotherapy can be extremely disruptive and candida is almost inevitable. Antibiotics are one of the biggest problems when candida is concerned. Antibiotics kill all bacteria in your stomach, good and bad, allowing candida to grow aggressively and out of control. Antibiotics are prescribed far too often, making it one of the biggest causes of candidiasis. Even if you have never taken antibiotics, you may be consuming them without even realising it. Farm animals are routinely fed and injected with antibiotics which eventually make it up the food chain into us.Back to Candida Support