Candida Infection

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Candida Infection - What You Need To Know

Modern research in natural therapy continues to uncover the connection between the bacteria in our body and the role it plays in the functioning of our digestive system.

While many people may not be aware of what a Candida infection is, the symptoms are common such as headaches, digestive problems, joint pain, and recurring yeast infections or illness.

This article will give you a little insight into a Candida related infection as well as provide the knowledge to understand whether your issues are a result of yeast overgrowth.

Candida is a type of yeast that can be found in your digestive system, more locally within the intestines. It is not there to upset the balance but more to help the digestion process and promote a healthy system.

There are a number of species of Candida yeast, of which, Candida Albicans is commonly perceived as the most harmful. However, the majority of people (around 80%) biologically have it within their systems in some small measure but, for the most part, it is harmless. So how does that translate into an ongoing infection?

What is a Candida Yeast Infection?

A Candida infection is often referred to as candidiasis. This is the umbrella term for thrush and other similar yeast infections that are caused by the overproduction of various species of yeast within the body.

A healthy body does not generally allow overproduction because it is fully equipped to keep the Candida at low and harmless levels. However, there are certain circumstances in which overproduction can occur and then begins to impede digestion instead of encouraging it.

If the body is unable to cope with a Candida overgrowth then it has no way of controlling it, let alone dispelling it. However, as overgrowth gets to the stage at which it becomes an infection (when it does begin impeding the body's regular functionality), it can actually seriously affect our overall health by encouraging the presence of other infections and preventing the body from dealing with them.

This is a major problem for people with compromised immune systems or those that have an existing health concern such as cancer or HIV. For the majority of us, it is just an uncomfortable annoyance. However, the symptoms of yeast overpopulation can be extremely difficult to deal with, which is why it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.

The Causes

A reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system can have severe consequences and encourage the production of excess yeast, which can lead directly to candidiasis.

Some of the various factors that can contribute to the overall internal health of the body and damage to immune system include the following:

- The use of drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Excessive use of antibiotics.
- Heavy metal poisoning or chemical poisoning.
- A serious illness such as cancer.
- A terminal virus like AIDS.
- An ongoing illness such as depression.

Hormone level changes are another acknowledged cause that do not actually result from a compromised immune system, but from integral changes to the chemical composition of the body. These changes can create a haven for Candida to multiply on a much grander scale.

There can be any number of reasons for these changes but a healthy hormone level is important for keeping the body working at its optimum level. If something causes an imbalance then the rest of the body is thrown out of sync as well. Some examples of causes of hormone imbalances are:

- Use of oral or implanted contraceptives (birth control pills).
- Use of any form of steroids.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Natural hormone changes such as puberty, menopause and pregnancy.
- Chemotherapy

Stress can also be a major factor in an weakened immune system and an overgrowth of yeast within the body resulting in a Candida infection.

Stress figuratively paralyses the body. As the brain does not seem to be functioning correctly the messages that it relays around the rest of the body are distorted. These distorted messages signal to the body that something is wrong and the body will react by trying to heal itself which is why many people often feel ill or extremely tired if they are under a lot of stress.

A weakened immune system creates a scenario for the overgrowth of yeast leading to a Candida related infection.

The Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that are associated with Candida, although this is in part because there are so many types of infections out there and they all bear different symptoms and different effects.

The fungal form of Candida yeast can create some especially chronic symptoms if it is able to spore and thus move through the walls of the intestines. This is an advanced stage of a Candida infection known as leaky gut syndrome and can affect your body in a number of ways.

In fact, there are three groups of infections and illnesses that it can cause:

- Group One - Toxins enter the blood stream owing to the damage done to the walls of the intestines, causing allergic reactions to various foods, migraines and some minor muscles pains.

- Group Two - Candida enter the endocrine system, thus causing thrush, cystitis, ear infections, athletes foot, asthma, menstrual problems, ear and eye infections and various other similar problems.

- Group Three - Intestinal disorders as a result of overproduction such as excess wind, bloating, diarrhea and nausea.

As you can see, all of the above infections are very different in terms of their nature and thus have very different symptoms. However, all include digestive problems such as bloating, gas or nauseas, and the majority of cases will also come complete with thrush.

Thrush is a type of yeast infection that is most easily recognized by white patches within the mouth and on the tongue. If you do happen to have thrush then it is a sure fire sign that you have a yeast related illness or more serious infection.

The Possible Solutions

The best solutions when dealing with a Candida infection come in the form of diets. Taking prescription medications can often temporarily relieve the symptoms but do not go far enough and act on your internal problem, because antibiotics continue to kill the healthy bacteria in the body that help to keep the yeast in check.

To really get rid of the yeast overpopulation a strict yeast free diet should be started with an emphasis on eliminating yeast and sugars and replenishing the healthy bacteria the body needs to fight against the Candida infection.

A healthy yeast diet will help to flush out the system, remove any excess yeast that remains and allow your body to regain control over Candida production. However, no diet should be undertaken without discussing your health issues with a licensed medical practitioner who can advise you on your specific situation.

The sooner that you do something about Candida overproduction the better chance you stand of getting rid of the problem or preventing a more serious yeast related infection.


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Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_gut_syndrome
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/candidiasis-yeast-infection


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