CANDIDA OVERGROWTH IN THE INTESTINES: A COMMON PROBLEM IN TOXIC MOLD SYNDROME
CANDIDA OVERGROWTH If you are experiencing symptoms from exposure to toxic mold, you may have noticed that you suddenly have a white tongue and may be reacting allergically to foods that you never used to have a problem with. Most likely you are experiencing a candida overgrowth in your entire digestive tract which includes your mouth as well as your intestines. We think this may happen as a result of the immune suppression caused by exposure to toxic mold. Could it also be the fungus you are being exposed to has set up camp in your digestive tract? I think it is a possibility because some of the toxic molds can live in the human body. Candida is a type of fungus that normally grows in your body at low levels but when it overgrows can cause toxic symptoms.
The sad thing is that even if you leave the mold exposure, the candida or fungal- overgrowth seems to stick with you. If you do not take care of it right away it can get so deeply embedded in the intestines that it will be harder to get under control.
So right about now you may be wondering, what is fungal-overgrowth or candida overgrowth syndrome AKA Candida Syndrome? For the purposes of this article I am going to refer to this syndrome interchangeably as candida syndrome or fungal-overgrowth syndrome. Keep in mind the possibility that this could also be due to other fungi specifically the ones you have been exposed to. In either case the same principles and treatment apply.
THE MOST COMMON CANDIDA SYMPTOMS ARE:
The most common candida symptoms are:
Other symptoms include:
THE CANDIDA SYNDROME/FUNGAL-OVERGROWTH SYNDROME: WHAT IS IT?
The candida syndrome/fungal overgrowth syndrome is a health problem that is more widespread than thought and largely ignored by the medical profession. It is not considered by many doctors when patients come in complaining of the symptoms of this syndrome, a few of which are fatigue and just not feeling well. Many holistic physicians do recognize and treat this, but because holistic physicians are a minority, many people are missing out on being diagnosed and treated for this condition.
In my practice, all too often, I encounter patients that are ignorant of the existence of this syndrome and have been to their family physician and told there is nothing wrong with them or put on an antidepressant.
I have seen remarkable improvements in my patients that I have diagnosed with candida syndrome/fungal overgrowth syndrome after being treated with anti-fungal diets, anti-fungal supplements and sometimes anti-fungal medication.
What is this syndrome?
The candida syndrome/fungal-overgrowth syndrome is a condition that occurs in the body when there is an imbalance in the flora (microbiology community) of the intestinal tract. There are more bacteria in our intestines than there are cells in the human body. And these bacteria have more metabolic activity than all the cells of the human body. So it makes sense that imbalances can dramatically affect human health.
Ordinarily, there is a delicate balance of bacteria and yeast (fungus) called candida. There are many strains of candida. Candida albicans is the most common strain in the human body. Among candida albicans there is variation in the sensitivity of these organisms to anti-fungal drugs or herbs. In other words, sometimes candida is resistant to certain agents that would normally kill it.
The bacteria in the intestines are of 2 types, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria require oxygen while anaerobic bacteria are perfectly fine without oxygen. The vast majority of the bacteria in the intestine are anaerobes but their significance to health remains largely unknown.
The levels of aerobic bacteria are what researchers use as an indicator of bacterial health.
The three most frequently identified aerobic organisms are lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and ecoli.. These bacteria are essential to maintaining a healthy intestinal tract.
Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria have been shown to inhibit gut pathogens, and carcinogens, lower cholesterol and synthesize vitamins and enzymes.
There are other bacteria that can inhabit the intestines that are not beneficial and actually are possible or known carcinogens. If there are not enough of the good bacteria around, these bad bacteria can set up residence. Also candida can overgrow as well, when there is a deficiency of this good bacteria. In addition to bacteria and yeast there are also parasites that can invade the intestines. They are not as common but certain ones like giardia and blastocystis hominus are more common than most people would imagine.
HOW DO WE GET IMBALANCES IN OUR INTESTINAL FLORA?
Antibiotics are the main culprit for this. Antibiotics kill bacteria but they do not kill yeast or fungal organisms like candida.. So the good bacteria die and the yeast overgrows to fill up the empty space.. Also some bad bacteria can overgrow too if it is a strain that is resistant to the antibiotic.
Other things can contribute as well to killing good bacteria, such as preservatives in food, chlorine in drinking water and antibiotics in meat and dairy.
Also, the use of steroids, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can make yeast grow and flourish and make a candida overgrowth worse.
Also the perfect recipe for fungal overgrowth after killing off all the beneficial bacteria is a diet high in refined carbohydrates like sugar, white flour products, soda pops and juice. The main fuel source for candida is sugar. You may recall when making bread, there has to be some sort of sugar in the recipe to make the bread rise. This sugar is food for the yeast, enabling it to multiply and rise. The same thing happens in your intestines. When you eat sugar and refined carbs you are feeding the yeast. This is usually not a problem in someone with balanced flora. But with imbalanced flora it can be disasterous.
In our culture there is a dangerous combination of frequent antibiotic use and excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates. It is no wonder there seems to be so many with this syndrome.
SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH TOO MUCH YEAST IN OUR INTESTINES?
As yeast live and grow they produce waste products like any living organism does. And these metabolic waste products are toxic to the human body. In normal amounts a healthy body can handle them with no problem.
But when the levels of metabolic waste increase as the number of candida organisms increase in the intestines, the body can become overwhelmed with the amount of toxins it has to get rid of.
And if the body is being exposed to other toxins like that of toxic black mold, the body's detoxification pathways can easily become overwhelmed and toxic symptoms can develop.
Couple this with the fact that some toxic mold toxins actually suppress the immune system which can lead to an overgrowth of candida, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.
The toxins cause symptoms that can vary between individuals because of individual variations and variations in types of fungus and the toxins they can produce.