information and test for
is exciting information for those who suspect that
they might have a Candida Yeast problem.
There is a very quick diagnostic tool to check for Candida, called "The Spittle Test" (Don't let the capitals fool you into respectability—it's a little gross.) it's not easy to acquire lab tests, etc. that will lead to a Candida "diagnosis". The following test, however, is pretty easy, and pretty conclusive:
(Although this test can be done—with success—at any different time of the day, morning will be the most indicative.)
First thing upon arising in the morning, (even before clearing your mouth), spit into a glass of water. If your spit remains floating, in a nice, cohesive "blob", you're probably pretty much Candida_free. However, if after a moment, your spit begins to develop long strand_like tendrils that dissolve down into the water, or if your spit spreads out over the surface of the water, you probably have a Candida condition.
The symptoms that accompany Candida yeast infection are: fatigue, feeling of being "drained", pain or swelling in joints, memory problems, depression, and allergies, to name a few. Candida also works to diminish immune function.
The use of antibiotics (esp. tetracyclines) however, have well known side effects that work to eliminate this "good" bacteria. This is why some doctors quite often urge DAILY yogurt and acidophilus supplementation, to replenish what is being destroyed by the antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, but they are powerless against yeasts, allowing those residing in the gut to grow unregulated. In addition, the use of steroids (cortisones), birth control pills, antacid and anti-ulcer medications (Tagament, Zantac, Pepcid, Axid) etc., are also very important contributing factors when taken along with antibiotics, since Candida proliferates rapidly in the presence of these substances. If the antibiotic effect is strong enough, or long enough, it can eliminate the "good" bacteria along a portion, or all of the intestinal wall. Because one of it's functions is to absorb water, diarrhea is a sign of the destruction of this bacterial layer.
Now, both of these substances are aggressive in its competition for space along the intestinal wall, and when "good" bacteria is eliminated, the Candida yeast is allowed to take up residence. The problem is, that whichever organism predominates in a section, this is the one that will work to keep out the other type. For instance; normally, good bacteria keep out the Candida, but the reverse is also true: when good bacteria are eliminated, and Candida gets a foothold, it is just as aggressive about keeping out the good bacteria. Candida then becomes the "norm" although it's proliferation in our bodies is anything but normal.
One of the things that is important to understand is that if our "bout" of diarrhea is over (which is generally accomplished by stopping antibiotics for a period and downing quantities of yogurt and acidophilus, sources of the good bacteria), that it does not necessarily mean that you have replenished good bacteria along the entire length of the intestinal tract. While there may be a sufficient "re-population" to begin to once again re-absorb water, it does not mean that entire system is repopulated.
In other words, there can be entire sections of the intestine still covered in Candida, and causing a diminished ability for normal bodily function along these lengths.
The second main reason that Candida can initially gain a foothold is through consumption of sugars.
Quite simply, sugar is the favorite food source for Candida yeast. Happily fed, it will multiply. The sugar of the greatest offense is the simple sugars (sugar and sugary foods). However, although it's lesser in effect, complex sugars (also called complex carbohydrates, breads, cereals, pasta, etc.) also have the ability to be broken down to be its food source.
How the Yeast works against usI've already mentioned how it can predominate in a section of the intestines, keeping out the normal "good" bacteria. This good bacteria is essential for our bodies to absorb the nutrients from the foods (or vitamins) we eat. If part or all of this is gone, we are without that ability to get that nutritional benefit from the foods we eat. Furthermore, the yeast works to encapsulate the red blood cells, causing a diminished ability to do oxygen exchange across it's membranes.
Under certain conditions of advanced infection, the yeast becomes dimorphic (which is to say, it begins to grow in a second way.) It begins to grow in long strands that can pierce the intestinal walls, causing a condition known as "leaky gut". In this strand_like form, it's resistant to phagocytosis __ the normal elimination process via the immune system. This increased intestinal permeability can allow undigested macromolecule (large) food particles and toxins to pass directly into the body causing a great deal of problems. Because food particles larger than can be digested are now in the bloodstream, the body reacts to them with an allergic reaction. Furthermore, this creates an increased strain on the immune system, and the ability to fight against Candida (as well as other conditions) is even further reduced, beginning a cycle. Moreover, these particles can also cross the blood/brain barrier and be mistaken for neurotransmitters, creating a host of neurological symptoms.
In even more advanced stages, the fungus can grow into "balls" becoming even more resistant to its elimination.
TreatmentThe elimination of yeast requires working in two basic areas: eliminate the yeast and repopulate the normal bacteria. Repopulating the normal bacteria would be assisted by consuming yogurt and acidophilus powder. The acidophilus powder is very important to take in addition to yogurt, because while yogurt's bacteria count is in the millions, that count from the acidophilus is generally in the billions.
Eliminating the yeast has a few more facets to it. One of the first things to do is to work to reduce or eliminate sugar consumption. Not only does Candida rapidly proliferate in the presence of sugar, but research has shown that sugars dramatically increase Candida's ability to adhere to the epithelial mucosa cells. Antifungal treatment depends heavily on this dietary change.
Another area that may be helpful is to perhaps eat smaller meals. Large meals travel further distance down the intestines before they are fully digested and absorbed. It's believed that the yeast generally resides far down that intestinal tract. If our meals are digested before they hit this area of the intestines, the yeast is effectively starved. Digestive enzymes can help this process.
Attempt to avoid antibiotics, cortisones (steroids) __both topical and oral, and antacid or anti_ulcer medications. Candida has been shown to grow rapidly in the presence of these substances.
Some other suggestions are:
Increase dietary protein and reduce carbohydrates. Proteins tend to starve yeasts and carbohydrates ultimately break down into sugars. (I can't help but wonder if it's not this precise mechanism that accounts for success with the Atkins diet?)
Taking oral glucosamine works to prevent the binding of Candida to epithelial mucosal cells, and works to restore the mucosal layer.
There are several natural antifungals: caprylic acid, garlic, undeclyenic acid, gentian violet.
I had already found symptomatic success in taking digestive enzymes, and in eating smaller meals. Also, I'd found success in eliminating sugars. Further, I had discovered that taking Blue Green Algae (a protein) or another protein drink on an empty stomach in the morning worked to clear my "brain fog". (Remember that proteins work against Candida?) In the light of the Candida infection, many of these things now make perfect sense.
Herbs that may be helpfulA small, preliminary trial found that a mouthwash with diluted Tea Tree oil was effective in decreasing the growth of Candida albicans and in improving symptoms in Aids patients with oral Candida infections (thrush) that had not responded to drug therapy.11 People in the study took 15 ml of the oral solution (dilution of tea tree oil was not given) four times per day and were instructed to swish it in their mouth for 30 to 60 seconds and then spit it out. For use of tea tree oil as a mouthwash, one should not exceed a 5% dilution and should be extremely careful not to swallow the solution.
In a preliminary study, topical application of an alcohol extract of Brazilian propolis resolved candidiasis in 12 of 12 people who were experiencing oral candidiasis associated with the use of dentures. The extract, which was prepared by mixing 2 grams of dried propolis in 25 ml of an 80:20 alcohol:water solution, was applied to the lesions four times a day for seven days.
Many doctors recommend that people with recurrent yeast infections take measures to support their immune system. Echinacea which has the capacity to enhance immune function, is often used by people who suffer from recurrent infections. In one study, women who took echinacea experienced a 43% decline in the recurrence rate of yeast infections.
The essential oil of cinnamon contains various chemicals that are believed to be responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal effects. Important among these compounds are eugenol and cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamon oil vapors exhibit extremely potent antifungal properties in test tubes.
A test tube study demonstrated that oil of oregano and an extract in the oil called carvacrol in particular, inhibited the growth of Candida albicans far more effectively than a commonly employed antifungal agent called calcium magnesium caprylate.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease