Candida albicans is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen that causes Candidiasis.
Candidiasis is generally characterized by “feeling sick all over“.
Some of the symptoms include fatigue, allergies, low immune system, depression, chemical sensitivities, and digestive disorders.
Candida and Gut Microflora
In our Gastrointestinal tract, there is a population of microflora.
This microflora refers to the entire population of microorganisms that colonizes a particular location and includes not just the friendly bacteria, but also other microbes such as fungi, archaea, viruses, and protozoans. (1)
The intestinal microflora is a complex ecosystem containing over 400 different bacterial species. (2)
The composition of the human gut microbiota changes over time, when the diet changes, and as overall health changes.
Candida albicans is the most common fungal opportunistic pathogen in our gut.
At normal levels, the fungus is not problematic.
However, when candida begins to grow uncontrollably under certain circumstances, it can cause an infection known as Candidiasis.
Candida is usually controlled by friendly gut flora, our immune defence system and intestinal pH.
If the good bacteria (probiotics) that keep the candida in balance is out of balance, it can lead to candida.
Candida is also known as yeast infection because it produces a smell like yeasty bread.
Symptoms of Candida:
- Fatigue and tiredness that worsens after eating.
- Food allergies and/or other allergies.
- Digestive disorders- wind, bloating, constipation, bad breath, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
- Craving for sweets and pastries
- Nervousness, mood swings.
- Luck of concentration.
- Headaches, migraines.
- Vaginal infections.
- Irregular menstruation, menstrual cramps.
All these symptoms can also be related to other conditions.
The doctor diagnosis is made by the evaluation of stool and blood laboratory tests, medical history and the symptoms.
Candidiasis risk factors:
- Poor nutrition
- Gastrointestinal acidity or lack of digestive enzymes
- Nutritional deficiencies
- A weak immune system
- Taking certain medications
If you suffer from Candidiasis – avoid the following:
- Sugar of any kind
- Artificial sweeteners
- Starchy vegetables – like corn, potato
- Food colours, preservatives
- Processed foods, including snacks, sausages
- Caffeine, smoking
- Vinegar (In some case unrefined apple cider vinegar will be ok)
- Tap water (Chemicals that added to the tap water, will encourage candida overgrowth)
In Naturopathy, we suggest treating Candida by improving the immune function, supporting the liver function, and balance the activity of the digestive system. Combining herbal medicine, aromatherapy and mind-body support.
The following Herbal Remedies may support the body while treating Candida:
Tabebuia impetiginosa, Known also as Pau D’Arco
An evergreen canopy tree, native to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical regions of South and Central America.
In traditional medicine, pau d’arco is used for bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections.
Rich in concentrated phenols that prevent fungal infection.
It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.