Candida Albicans and Candidiasis
Candida albicans is a type of fungus that can cause Candidiasis, a condition characterized by feeling sick all over. Symptoms of Candidiasis include fatigue, allergies, low immune system, depression, chemical sensitivities, and digestive disorders. The gastrointestinal tract contains a population of microflora, which includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoans. The gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem that changes over time and can be affected by diet and overall health.
Microflora and the Gut Microbiota
Microflora is the collective term for the microorganisms that inhabit a specific location, including not only beneficial bacteria, but also fungi, archaea, viruses, and protozoans.(1) The gut microflora is a complex ecosystem that contains more than 400 different bacterial species, and its composition can change over time due to factors such as diet and overall health. (2) Candida albicans is the most common opportunistic fungal pathogen in the gut, but at normal levels, it is not harmful. However, if candida grows uncontrollably due to an imbalance in the gut microflora, it can cause an infection called Candidiasis. Candida is typically kept in check by friendly gut flora, the immune system, and the proper intestinal pH. A yeast infection is another term for Candidiasis, as it produces a yeasty odor.
Other Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth
Candida can cause several symptoms, including:
Fatigue and tiredness that worsens after eating
Food allergies and/or other allergies
Digestive disorders such as wind, bloating, constipation, bad breath, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
Cravings for sweets and pastries
Nervousness and mood swings
Lack of concentration
Headaches and migraines
Irregular menstruation and menstrual cramps.
It should be acknowledged that these symptoms are not exclusive to Candidiasis and may overlap with symptoms of other health conditions.
Diagnosis of Candidiasis
The diagnosis of Candidiasis is typically made through a combination of stool and blood laboratory tests, along with an evaluation of medical history and symptoms.
Risk Factors for Candidiasis
There are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing Candidiasis. These include:
High levels of stress
Poor nutrition and diet
Imbalance in gastrointestinal acidity or lack of digestive enzymes
A weakened immune system
Taking certain medications
It is important to note that while these risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing Candidiasis, they do not guarantee that an individual will contract the condition.
If you suffer from Candidiasis, it is important to avoid certain foods that can exacerbate the condition. These include:
Sugar of any kind
Starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes
Food colors and preservatives
Processed foods, including snacks and sausages
Caffeine and smoking
Vinegar (although unrefined apple cider vinegar may be okay in some cases)
Tap water (due to added chemicals that can encourage Candida overgrowth)
Natural Treatment for Candidiasis
In Naturopathy, Candidiasis is typically treated by improving immune function, supporting liver function, and balancing the activity of the digestive system. This may involve combining herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and mind-body support.
The following herbal remedies may be helpful in supporting the body while treating Candidiasis:
Tabebuia impetiginosa (also known as Pau D’Arco): an evergreen canopy tree native to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical regions of South and Central America that is traditionally used for bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections.
Oregano oil: rich in concentrated phenols that prevent fungal infection and also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.
If you are looking for more advice on treating Candidiasis, consider contacting Paz By Nature clinic for personalized recommendations.