Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Candida: A Yeast That Can Cause Problems

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Candida albicans is a yeast that can cause problems if it gets out of hand. Candida albicans, or C. albicans, is typically found in your mucous membranes and skin and is usually innocuous. If it starts to grow out of control, however, then there can be serious ramifications. It can run rampant in various parts of your body, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, heart, skin, fingers, nails and the female genital tract. If C. albicans gets a foothold and proliferates out of control, then it can lead to yeast overdrive in various places in the body—especially when the body’s immune system is imbalanced or if the body is not getting the nutrition it needs. Likewise, antibiotic overuse, unhealthy blood sugar levels and more can set the stage for unwanted and unhealthy yeast infiltration. Here’s what happens: yeast crowds out normal gut flora and changes the composition of gut enzymes and diminishes the gut’s ability to properly absorb nutrients.

Yeast releases toxins that are then absorbed through the gut or throughout the body, leading to poor health. Yeasts can also cause allergic responses similar to hay fever allergies—caused by a special class of antibodies called IgE antibodies. Yeast imbalance can be quite uncomfortable, too. It can lead to fatigue, irritability, gut cramping and bloating, sore/itchy throat, genitourinary poor health and much more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that eight out of every 100,000 people have candidiasis, an infection caused by C. albicans.

In general, symptoms of a C. albicans imbalance can be categorized according to gastrointestinal, genitourinary and systemic imbalances. As symptoms of an imbalance in the gastrointestinal system can include abdominal discomfort, gas, bloating and other unhealthy side effects. It might also manifest itself as lethargy, muscular discomfort, headaches and anxiety. As far as the genitourinary areas of women, a C. albicans imbalance can directly, adversely affect these areas and cause unhealthy levels of inflammation in the urethra, vagina and bladder. It can expand into other areas of the body. A systemic infiltration can have an unhealthy effect on the joints, the spinal cord, the kidneys and even the heart—depending on which organs and areas are in its sights. Then if Candida albicans proceeds to the bloodstream, it can cause systemic problems, including fever and septic shock—which can be fatal.

Understand that this is not only limited to adults. Children can develop C. albicans, too. An imbalance of Candida albicans can occur in the child’s mouth—something known as thrush. This is seen most often in kids who are taking antibiotics or who have unhealthy immune systems. Additionally, Candida can grow rapidly on a child’s moist skin, producing a bright, red rash with a defined border. This may become evident from as a diaper rash, but it can also appear around the fingernails of children who suck their thumbs or fingers. Little girls, too, may be prone to vaginal infections if the C. albicans population soars.

If you’re looking to avoid a yeast imbalance, here are some suggestions:
  • Support your immune system.
  • Maintain balanced gut flora and a healthy digestive tract.
  • Eat a diet of healthy proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics.
  • Avoid sugars and other unhealthy carbs.
  • Avoid unnecessary medicines, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics and steroids.
  • Manage stress.
  • Maintain hormonal balance.
  • Avoid unnecessary surgeries. 
All of these can go a long way in creating the yeast balance necessary for health. To learn more visit
(Reference: Dr. Young)

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