Do I have Candida?
Candida (Candidiasis) can present a wide variety of symptoms, the exact combination and severity of which are unique to each individual case. Because candida overgrowth can manifest itself through many seemingly unrelated symptoms, the diagnosis is very often missed. Please see our self-administered Symptom Assessment Questionnaire in our Candida Protocol Section. Candida symptoms are usually chronic and include but are not limited to the following:
- Allergies: to foods and/or airborne chemicals; particularly adult-onset allergies. The number of offending substances can keep increasing until an individual becomes so sensitive to the everyday environment that they must live in isolation.
- Fatique: continual, but often more noticeable after eating.
- Gastrointestinal: poor digestion (constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, heartburn, nausea, gastritis, colitis, etc.)
- Neurological: carbohydrate cravings, irritability, mood swings, headaches, migraines, "fogged-in" feeling, inability to concentrate/mind "wanders off", poor memory, confusion, dizziness, M.S.-like symptoms (slurred speech, loss of muscle co-ordination, vision affected), depression and/or anxiety without apparent cause (often worse after eating), paranoia without apparent cause, not in total control of one' actions (know right thing to do but unable to execute), mental incompetence (sometimes leading to institutionalization), a variety of other behavioral disturbances.
- Genito-urinary: vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, impotence, infertility, prostatitis, rectal itch, urinary tract infection/inflammation (urgency, burning).
- Respiratory: compromised immune system (frequent colds, flus), hay fever, mucous congestion, postnasal drip, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, frequent clearing of throat, habitual coughing (usually non-productive).
- Skin: athlete's foot, jock itch, skin rash, hives, dry brownish patches, psoriasis, ringworm, rough skin on sides of arms which gets worse at certain times of the month or under increased stress.
- Symptoms resistant to all modes of therapy. The physician may conclude that patient is a hypochondriac and/or neurotic and may suggest tranquilizers, anti-depressants and/or psychiatric help.
- Clinical history (early childhood): ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, SKIN problems (cradle cap, diaper rash, thrush), RESPERATORY problems (chronic ear infection, tonsillitis) or GI problems (colic).
- Miscellaneous: cold extremities, arthritis-like symptoms, etc.
If you have some combination of these symptoms, you may have Candida. A thorough intestinal clean-up as that afforded by the Caproyl antifungal, Psyllium cleanser and Bentonite detoxificant, will improve your overall condition, regardless of what you are suffering from. By treating Candida Symptoms, you will make your body that much stronger to deal with any other conditions.
Take the Candida Symptom Assessment Questionnaire to assist you in determining your level of imbalance.
- Destruction of the C. albicans natural control mechanism: Broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline) destroy the healthful bacteria, which control the Candida population. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus competes with C. albicans for space and nutrients in the intestinal tract. It also releases acid, which makes the environment less favorable for Candida growth; and even feeds off of the Candida directly. When Lactobacillus acidophilus is attacked by antibiotics, Candida proliferates and can change to its pathogenic mycelial form. After prolonged (several months or more) or frequent (more than 3 times in a year) broad-spectrum antibiotic use, Candidiasis symptoms may start to appear in a matter of months or even days and often linger for life if untreated, especially if one regularly consumes poultry, eggs, meats and/or milk since these usually contain antibiotics (and steroids, see (2) directly below). Chemical preservatives in food also support Candida overgrowth.
- Weakening of host defense mechanisms: A number of factors can compromise the effectiveness of the immune system that is responsible for eradicating invaders such as Candida. Lowered immunity may result from steroid drugs and cancer chemotherapeutic agents, both of which are immunosuppressant. Prolonged illness, stress (all forms), alcohol abuse, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of rest and poor nutrition are also key factors which tend to weaken the immune system.
- Female anatomy: Women are generally more susceptible to Candidiasis than men for several reasons:
- Female hormonal levels are constantly fluctuating and sustained high levels of estrogen can occur. This condition tends to impair immune system function.
- C. albicans growth is stimulated by the female hormone progesterone. Its levels are elevated during pregnancy and in the second half of each menstrual cycle. Synthetic progestins are found in oral contraceptives and also contribute to candida overgrowth.
- The female anatomy lends itself to the ready migration of C. albicans from the rectum to the genito-urinary system. Vaginal yeast infections are a common result.
- Poor diet establishes a breeding ground for Candida: The nutrient-poor, low-bulk, high-refined carbohydrate diets of most North Americans will, over a period of years, transform a healthy large intestine into a lifeless pipe caked with layers of encrusted fecal matter (the site of constant putrefaction, fermentation, rancidification, home for toxin-inducing pathogenic bacteria) and an excellent environment for the proliferation of the mycelial tentacles of Candida. (The high-refined carbohydrate diet also serves as a very desirable food for C. albicans which further entrenches it within the microscopic crevices of encrusted fecal matter.) The small intestine, housing a more fluid chyme, does not become so caked with old fecal matter as it does with mucus. This also encourages Candida proliferation.
The Whole Approach® Program featuring the Attogram Products is the therapy of choice because it is a drugless approach that works independently of the host's defense mechanisms. This program includes an antifungal rotation to address the pleomorphic ability of the fungus (the fungus has adaptation capabilities); together with the cleansing and adsorbent benefits of the Bentonite and Psyllium. It's also important to provide a good source of Acidophilus to replace the yeast overgrowth, together with special attention to diet. Please refer to our Candida Protocol page on this web site where you will find a Symptom Assessment Questionnaire to determine your level of yeast overgrowth.