Candida albicans have been around for thousand of years, but only in modern times has it overtaken our bodies and compromised our immunity. It is one of several yeast and fungal organisms present in our bodies. Normally, friendly gut bacteria balance these organisms and they are not an issue. But when we throw our body out of balance (stress, sugar, antibiotics, toxins, the SAD diet) then our immune system is compromised and the candida grows rampant, causing a slew of symptoms called Candidiasis.
According to the CDC, Candidiasis (or Candida-Related Complex) is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. There are over 20 species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans. Candida yeasts normally reside in the intestinal tract and can be found on mucous membranes and skin without causing infection; however, overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop. These symptoms vary depending on the area of the body that is infected.
Candidiasis that develops in the mouth or throat is called thrush or oropharyngeal candidiasis. Candidiasis in the vagina is commonly referred to as a yeast infection. Invasive candidiasis occurs when Candida species enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.
It is a serious systematic pathogen. It's symptoms can even mask, overshadow or accompany other diseases, such as AIDS, Epstein-Barr, and cancer.
When the immune system is weak, Candida can easily overrun the intestinal tract and then eventually into other organs. The yeast thrive on your own nutrients, creating deficiencies. For examples, without minerals, your body becomes acidic. When your mineral levels are low, you crave carbs for short-term energy. Simple carbs feed the yeast and the cycle continues.
How do you know if you have yeast overgrowth? The best way to know for sure is a blood test, but there are at home questionnaires you can take to see how many symptoms you are currently struggling with, telling the rate at which yeast is growing.
Contact me if you'd like to know my favorite!
Sources and Additional Reading:
The Body Ecology Diet. Gates, Donna. 2011.