Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Candida Albicans–Friend or Foe?

Candida Albicans, in and of itself, is not the cause of candida and yeast infections.  Rather, it is a form of yeast that is normally located in the intestines, throat/mouth, reproductive organs and urinary tract of most humans.  Candida Albicans is a non-hazardous form of yeast and is a normal part of your gut flora whose primary function is to get rid of harmful bacteria.

If you are a normal healthy individual, your immune system along with your other friendly gut flora keeps Candida “in check”.  This friendly gut flora (also known as good bacteria) restrains harmful bacteria and yeasts which in turn maintains a balanced, strong immune system.

However, should the “good guy” bacteria become outnumbered by bad bacteria due to a compromised immune system, Candida Albicans changes from a yeast into fungus and grows uninhibited into a big problem.  This fungus attacks your body and allows dangerous and immune-compromising substances, such as undigested nutritional protein, to enter your bloodstream.  Your immune system then reacts to these foreign substances resulting in many variations of chronic health problems.  The condition resulting from this overgrowth of fungus in our body is called Candidiasis.

As mentioned above, a compromised immune system is the doorway by which Candida Albicans turns into a harmful fungus leading to Candidiasis.  Your immune system may be weakened for many reasons including a poor diet, constant stress, prolonged use of steroid hormones, anti-inflammatory drugs, acid reflux medication, anti-ulcer medications, immunosuppressant drugs as well as more serious health conditions such as AIDS and cancer.

The primary symptoms of a yeast infection are easily identified as external soreness, itchiness and burning of the genitalia usually upon urination.  In addition, a thick white vaginal discharge will also be present.  A few of the chronic symptoms that indicate a yeast infection or Candidiasis are headaches, allergies/asthma, digestive and urinary tract problems, depression, chronic fatigue, psoriasis, muscular soreness and even multiple sclerosis.  Symptoms that appear in children may be allergies/asthma, ear infections, attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperactivity and autism.

Many times we run back and forth to the doctor looking for a cure to these individual ailments without ever getting to the root of the problem—which is, more times than not, a Candida Albicans yeast infection.  Many doctors overlook the possibility of Candidiasis and only after much testing and medical expense, is this found to be the problem.

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