What is Candida?
Candida is caused by the presence of the Candida albicans yeast in the digestive tract and vagina. The levels of Candida in the body are normally kept under control by the immune system and certain beneficial bacteria.
However, a weakened immune system or the use of antibiotics that kill the probiotic bacteria can result in Candida, requiring the person to start some cleansing.
Some of the signs that you will need to start cleansing are infections such as oral thrush, various types of skin infections and yeast infections in the vagina. In addition, people with weakened immune systems, such as those suffering from cancer or AIDS for example, are at risk for a potentially serious type of Candida infection known as systemic candidiasis.
Some practitioners of alternative medicine believe that an abundance of the candida albicans yeast in the intestines may result in a health condition characterized by fatigue, headaches, mood swings, congestion of the sinus, depression, reduced memory and concentration, and an unusual urge to eat sweets.
Candida occurs when excess yeast in the intestines manage to penetrate the intestinal wall, causing it to be absorbed into the body along with other harmful substances. These yeast particles may cause the immune system to kick into overdrive, possibly resulting in allergic reaction to Candida…at least this is what some people believe. In actuality, the theory is still subject to some controversy with some doctors rooted in conventional medical techniques thinking that this diagnosis isn’t very accurate.
A number of other factors can also contribute to Candida. Some of these are:
- taking oral contraceptives, antacids, ulcer medicine or steroids
- using antibiotics often or for extended periods
- eating too much sugar
- allergy to certain foods
You may also want to go for the dietary approach to cleansing, which will mean that you would have to follow certain diet recommendations. You will have to reduce your intake of sugar and carbohydrates for instance, since both of these substances are known to encourage yeast growth. Depending on your age and health, you may have to limit your daily carbohydrate consumption to as little as 60 grams. In place of carbohydrates, you may be advised to consume more meat, chicken, shellfish, and low starch vegetables instead. For that matter, it would also be best to avoid foods that contain yeast. This goes for bread, cheese, tomato paste, and beer.
Diagnosis of candidiasis is not always that easy since candida actually occurs naturally in the digestive tract. For this reason, it can be hard to tell if it is present in normal levels or if there is an overabundance of the yeast. Nevertheless, doctors typically rely on a few tests to help determine if there is indeed an overgrowth. Some of the most common tests performed prior to starting a cleanse are:
- Stool candida culture. This test checks a stool sample for presence of candida
- Serum candida antigen titer test. This is a blood test that is intended to measure the concentration of candida
- Serum candida antibody tests: This test is done to detect IgG, IgM, and IgA, an
Most cleansing methods involve placing the patient on a restricted diet in conjunction with anti-fungal medication and intake of acidophilus and bifidus supplements. In addition, most physicians recommend the avoidance of certain foods such as:
- Tea or coffee, since they contain caffeine
- Certain fruits, although citrus fruits and strawberries, cranberries, kiwi, mangoes, bananas and pineapple are usually allowed
- Foods containing refined sugar
- Left over food, which can contain mold even when stored in the refrigerator
- Foods with yeast such as crackers, pasta, and certain types of breads
In addition to targeting the diet, cleansing may also require the patient to take anti-fungal medications. A patient who is doing a detox program may also benefit from the use of probiotics. These can typically be found in certain foods and dietary supplements that you can buy in health food stores or grocery stores.
Another good source of probiotics is yogurt, although you will have to make sure that the yogurt you are buying contains live cultures. Yogurt products that do not have this label wont rally do you any good from a detox and cleanse standpoint.
The controversy surrounding candidiasis There are actually some physicians who feel that the only people who are at risk for candidiasis and therefore require cleansing are people whose immune systems have been weakened by illness or certain medicines. That being said, numerous people who don’t fit that description but suffer from candidiasis have greatly benefited from the cleanse. The jury is still out on that matter, but you may find that it can be advantageous to you, although like all medical procedures, it would probably be best to consult with a physician for proper diagnosis and medical advice.
Start a Cleanse?
If you are currently suffering from a host of unexplained symptoms that range from fatigue to difficulty in concentrating, unusual craving for sugary foods or alcohol, and you have some skin problems that seemingly have no cause, you may already be suffering from Candida, which you may want to try to treat with a home cleanse plan. In addition to these symptoms, Candida may also cause you to suffer pain in the joints, gassiness, constipation, diarrhea, and even depression.
In general, most holistic health experts and detox retreat leaders recommend at least a once per year detox. This may have the effect of eliminating many of the problems associated with the condition, doing away with your cravings for sweets and bread, and clearing up your mental functions as well as your skin.
In order to get the best possible results, cleansing will have to take a holistic approach and include medications that target fungi, boost your digestive system, cleanse your bowels, and enhance the function of your lymphatic system and liver. In addition, you will also have to avoid foods that can aggravate the condition.
In detail, antifungal medication should be used for 2 weeks, after which you will have to take probiotics for another 2 weeks. This alternate treatment should be repeated over the next 3 months. For antifungal purposes, you may use a tincture that contains olive leaf, black walnut, and pau d’arco, with oil of oregano also being effective. Probiotics come in the form of supplements, and these are readily available at many health food stores.
For purposes of cleansing, you will need to make sure that your digestive system is working optimally. A digestive system that is not working as well as it should be can actually feed the candida yeast, causing it to increase exponentially. Furthermore, a less than efficient digestive system will also result in you getting a lot less nutrients from the undigested food.
To aid in digestion, you may want to start on a regimen of full spectrum digestive enzymes, which are also commonly available in many health food stores. These should be taken after every meal for 3 months. If you wish to continue taking this supplement after that period, you will probably be able to shift to a regular digestive enzyme. Of course colon cleansing is an essential part of cleansing, since Candida breeds in the lower bowel. People that are constipated can use cascara in order to make the process of elimination easier. This laxative is particularly effective, since it trains your bowel to function normally on its own. You should take cascara for a few months or until your bowel functions have returned to normal.
How to Cleanse
For people that are suffering from Candida, the one solution that can provide effective relief may be cleansing. The cause of the condition is the Candida albicans fungus, which is actually normally present in the body along with other types of organisms.
Candida albicans is typically found in the intestines, genital tract, and throat of humans and for people in good health, the fungus exists alongside other organisms in harmonious balance. In fact, a certain amount of Candida albicans is actually desirable, since it can effectively maintain the proper levels of harmful bacteria. The problem begins when the delicate balance between Candida albicans and other organisms is upset by illness or the use of certain medications.
For people that have too much Candida albicans in their systems, cleansing may be the best way to restore the proper balance of these organisms. This is certainly a far better option than taking antibiotics or other medications indiscriminately or without proper advice from a physician, since doing so will likely only increase the levels of Candida albicans making things even worse.
Some of the steps to start cleansing are outlined below.
- Start with Candida cleansing for 2 to 3 months. This will help flush out the candida by cleaning out your bowels and better prepare it for the next steps. Some of the more popular Candida cleansing products you can buy contain colon cleansers, parasite cleansers, and other ingredients that aid digestion.
- Take an anti-fungal supplement for 2 weeks. The most common anti-fungal supplement in use is Oregano Oil, which should be taken in capsule form. Most doctors recommend that you take these capsules once a day for the first few days of treatment, and then gradually increase the dosage every day until you are taking 5 to 7 capsules daily.
- After 2 weeks of anti-fungal treatment, you should start on a high-quality probiotic regimen. This will ensure that the proper balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the intestines is achieved.
- After 4 weeks into the Candida cleanse, you may want to repeat the first two steps if necessary.
- Throughout the course of your Candida cleansing treatment, you should also take a colon cleansing product. You may even opt to mix anti-fungal products into this colon cleanser if you wish.
- Start a rebounding regimen. Now here’s the fun part. This is actually only a fancy term for bouncing on a trampoline, which you should do regularly in order to aid in the Candida cleansing process. This will help you flush out toxins much quicker, and it has the further advantage of being fun to do!
Candida is an infection that can actually take on many forms. Regardless of what symptoms you experience however, they all have the same basic cause, and that is an overgrowth of the candida yeast in the body. Some of the most common manifestations of the condition are listed below.
Candida Vaginitis is typically referred to as a vaginal yeast infection, and it is thought that the condition will affect almost all women at some point. In fact, most women can experience several types of infections every year, with the days around the ovulation period being particularly sensitive. Candida cleansing can generally clear up most of these infections.
Another common reason to start cleansing is Oral Thrush. However, this condition is not nearly as common as candida vaginitis. This condition has been a part of the human existence from as far back as recorded history at least, and has been around even before candida was identified as a medical condition. This type of candida infection can occur in infants, the elderly, and the terminally ill as well.
Candida can also occur in the skin and nails, with the appearance of fungus in the toenail being one of the most common manifestations. This infection is typically caused by internal candidosis or infections that occur elsewhere in the body, and can infect newborn infants. The condition is though to be the result of a defect in the immune system on a cellular level, and it can get into the scalp, causing some patients to lose hair.
Finally, mucocutaneous infections occur when a person experiences oral thrush and candida in the skin and nails at the same time. The condition typically lasts for several years, and is usually seen in people that suffer from some type of leukocyte dysfunction. Although quite rare, this condition is of particular interest to the medical community because of its severe nature.
Candida infections that affect the intestine were actually discovered as far back as 1771, and the condition was extensively documented in several medical journals. In a report written by Rosenstein, he made several observations with regard to oral thrush, stating that cases became even more difficult when it had spread to the stomach and the intestines. In 1784, Underwood for his part stated that thrush could spread to the stomach and throughout the intestines, and possibly cause inflammation in the anus. Due to the many causes and many resultant symptoms of candida, it is important to consult with a doctor as to what the best possible course of action might be. It is a potentially serious condition after all, and may require a treatment more extensive than cleansing.
You may not be aware of it but candida may be a lot more common than you think. Some medical experts have even gone so far as to consider it as some type of modern day silent epidemic, since it affects a lot of people who may not even be aware that they have it. The fact that many doctors don’t have sufficient training in cleansing–in fact, some don’t even consider it an actual medical condition–further lends an air of mystery to the whole candida phenomenon.
The main reason why cleansing has not received as much attention as it should have is because most doctors are of the opinion that diseases and illnesses are caused mainly by bacteria and viruses, and that something as seemingly harmless as yeast can’t possibly cause candida.
However, the fact of the matter is that these and other similar living organisms do cause a wide range of health conditions, with neurological disorders, problems with the nervous system, the bones and the joints, a host of cardiovascular issues, and disorders of the skin, ear, nose, and throat, being only some of them. Given the broad scope covered by these conditions, it is easy to see why many doctors are hesitant to attribute them to the overabundance of yeast in the body.
Most forms of cleansing approach the problem from a purely fungal-centered point of view. Most medications are prescribed for only a short period, and the patient is expected to get well in a month or two. What is unfortunate is the large number of candida cases that fail to respond to this treatment, resulting in the condition coming back even stronger than it was before. This is what has led so many people–health care professionals and patients alike–to explore alternative forms of cleansing treatments.
Further adding to the already confusing situation is the somewhat inaccurate categorization of candida as yeast, when it is actually two types of fungi with different survival needs. The problem is that candida is actually quite a hardy fungi and it has the remarkable ability to adapt itself to a wide variety of conditions in order to ensure it survival in the patient-host.
If candida is to be eliminated from society–or at least reduced in occurrence–it is essential to implement more effective research into cleansing methods. For all its strengths and advantages, it is obvious that traditional medical science does not hold the key to every single type of illness, and cleansing should be explored as a viable alternative or at least as a supplement to traditional medical procedures.
One of the ways by which you can tell that your detox has been effective is the appearance of Candida die off symptoms. While these symptoms–which can include bloating, itchiness, dulled mental function, constipation, diarrhea, tiredness, fever, flu, gassiness, headaches, joint pains, nausea, and a sore throat–may make you feel like you are getting sicker, they are in fact signs that you are well on the road to wellness. Ironically many of these symptoms are the same ones you will experience with candidiasis.
The main cause of these symptoms is the presence of toxins from the dead yeast that has managed to make its way into your bloodstream. These toxins can put quite a strain on your liver, causing you to feel these effects.
If these symptoms prove too troublesome for you to pursue your normal activities, you may wish to reduce your antifungal and probiotic intake slightly, and then continue your detox as soon as you start to feel better. In addition, you may want to take certain products that can help ease the effects of the cleansing, some of the most effective of which are outlined below:
- Milk Thistle. This can provide a number of beneficial effects on the liver, allowing it to remove toxins more efficiently.
- Peppermint oil capsules. These capsules can reduce the effects of the detox treatment on your intestines and ease indigestion.
- Psylium husks. Psylium husks contain plenty of fiber, which will aid considerably in the elimination of body waste.
- Bentonite Clay. This is another substance that can aid in the elimination of toxins from your bowels.
All of these effects make themselves felt in the body since the now ineffective yeast cells die off and deposit toxins into your blood. You are actually killing of yeast faster than your body can deal with it, and this causes the common die off symptoms to appear. This is actually a good sign that your detox is working and you should not be discouraged or go off cleansing. If you wish, you can reduce the amount of cleansing products you are taking if you want to ease the symptoms somewhat and then simply go back to your normal dosage as soon as you feel you are able to handle it.
The good news is that after the die off period has passed, you will almost immediately start to feel better than you have felt for months. Of course the length of the die off period is dependent on how long you have had candidiasis, so you should be patient and wait for the cleansing to take full effect.
Can I Use antibiotics?
For many people, antibiotics have gotten a bad rap over the past several years, in spite of its effectiveness in treating a variety of health conditions. The reason for this is that antibiotics can admittedly result in a number of negative results when taken improperly, in excessive amounts, or when taken for excessively long periods. Nevertheless, antibiotics remain valuable medications for a host of health conditions, and they have a crucial role with relation to the cleanse.
The problems can actually come up when antibiotics are used improperly, such as when they are taken for the most minor illnesses such as colds or acne. In fact, improper antibiotic use is suspected to be the root cause of many cases of candida. The thing to remember is that antibiotics are really very powerful substances, and while they can be invaluable aids in medical treatment, they should only be taken upon the recommendation of a doctor.
For purposes of detoxification, a more feasible alternative to antibiotics use may actually lie with alternative medical procedures. Many of these methods have actually been shown to be effective cleansing options, and many of them offer the further advantage of being free of side effects.
It is important to remember that the presence of the organism responsible for candida–Candida albicans–isn’t actually enough to cause a problem in itself. The problem begins when this organism grows far beyond its regular levels, resulting in an imbalance with the good bacteria, necessitating a detox treatment. In fact, all of us have a certain amount of candida albicans in our body at all times, and most of us are none the worse for it. It is this dual nature of Candida albicans that has caused a few doctors to question whether candida is actually an illness, and by extension, if cleansing is really necessary. Regardless of what the decision of the global health community might be, excessive levels of Candida albicans have been linked with a number of serious illnesses, and cleansing has proven beneficial for a number of people that experience these symptoms. It may be a while before a decision is made in this regard, but there is nor reason why you shouldn’t go for a cleansing, particularly if you are advised to start one by a suitably qualified health professional.