Candida: The Silent Killer
My name is Lacey Bain and I am the crazy kook behind all this madness; I'd like to think crazy-awesome-madness, but that is for you to decide! I would consider myself a one in 7.6 billion magical introverted ambivert who genuinely cares about everyone around me. I grew up beside my beautiful sister on my parents' 100-acre farm. The three of them are all so different and each one of them have taught me so many life lessons, I honestly do not even know where to start. A few things I love and cherish include my family, my four legged canine baby Reece, nature, food, adventures & travelling, beaches, snow, learning, dirt, my quiet-time, eyes, smiles, gardening, plants, herbs, tea, dogs (well, animals of every kind), cartoons, music, movies, supporting local talent anytime I can, listening, health, talking, social media, & people (being an introvert, I am still improving on the whole communication aspect).
My life has been a bunch of ups and downs that would take too long to inform you all in one post. So today I will be focusing on one thing that I have been familiar with throughout my life, especially for the last 10 years - Candida. I didn't even know what it was until I began to pay closer attention to my body & learning alternative medicine. For ten years, I would get recurring bladder infections at least once a month, with recurring yeast infections at least twice a month; in addition to these, I also became very well acquainted with kidney infections and symptoms attached. Yuck, I know *ultimate sad face*. The doctors I visited at various hospitals became very familiar with me and knew why I was coming in (as I would usually avoid hospitals at all costs). I had been to almost every specialist my family doctor could think of, and still no answers for my symptoms.
It seemed that prescriptions were the answer each time, but the symptoms persisted even with the medication I was using each time. The doctors noted that if I were to feel symptoms again (already being familiar with symptoms of bladder and yeast infections), I was to take my medication and keep in good faith. I felt in the dark after each time I had received treatment, so I had made a change to educate myself on these matters and choose not follow a doctor's order to take more and more pills.
My belief is that we have moved too far away from understanding the root cause. We look at a symptom and guess as to what it is attached to and prescribe some medication for that one symptom with the hope that the problem goes away. Candida I have encountered (and also backed by research), is associated with (but not limited to) fatigue, digestive issues, insomnia, waking up tired after sleeping a full night, mood swings, hunger, anxiety and depression, acne, cravings, skin and nail infections, recurring bladder, yeast, kidney infections, IBS symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, malnourishment, chemical sensitivity, joint pain, gas, bloating, brain fog, oral thrush, skin rashes, premenstrual tension, menstrual cramps, vaginal discharge, burning, allergies, intolerances (this includes food too), itching, endometriosis ect.
What is Candida?
Candida is yeast-like fungi that are a normal part of our bacterial flora that can be found in the mouth, intestinal tract, vagina, and on the skin. It can cause a variety of infections/rashes when other bacteria are not around to keep candida under control. Candidiasis or candida albican, is the overgrowth of a yeast fungus in the body, meaning there is less of your much needed, good bacteria (think of a teeter-totter acting as your change in good and bad bacteria balances with the various different foods you eat).
What does Candida do?
Candidiasis may be a result of poor colon management which may cause intestinal malabsorption and decreased lactic bacteria. Yeast and fungus thrive only on undigested sugars and carbohydrates, therefore signaling the body to crave these substances. Once this fungus is well established, it burrows into the gut lining and wanders into the bloodstream, affecting the functions of many other organs. An imbalance in candida starts an immune system response from these invasive allergens by giving out histamines, creating classic symptoms of new allergies and intolerances, as well summoning cravings for sugars, bread and/or alcohol.
For those suffering, indigestion/discomfort occurs after eating fruits or sweets. Candida increases severe reactions to perfume, tobacco, and toxins creating new chemical sensitivities. Candida can also increase diarrhea or constipation, rectal itching or unannounced bladder and yeast infections as well as a white coated or sore tongue. One may feel bad all over without apparent cause, being in a constant mental fog, “spaciness” and even can see skin rashes. Candida can also be linked with the feelings of anxiety, depression, tiredness or feelings of being “drained”; the cause is that Candida produces a byproduct acetaldehyde which reacts with dopamine receptors while also decreasing the amount of B12 that is stored by the liver. Additionally, for females, there may be premenstrual tension, menstrual cramps, vaginal discharge, burning, itching, and endometriosis.
Why is it imbalanced?
Candidiasis seems to be more prevalent in the younger population due to the imprudent use of antibiotics, medications, birth control, X Rays, MRI, CT scans or radiation of any kind. These traditional medical methods destroy friendly bacteria (in the process of warding off bad bacteria) allowing the yeast-like fungus to multiply unhindered. Once this fungus is established, it burrows into the gut lining then into the bloodstream, affecting the functions of many other organs such as the adrenals, the brain, the GI tract, the gonads and the skin. Candida overgrowth may also be caused by diets too low in fiber, high in processed/refined foods or sugar, as well excessive mental or physical stress (short-term or long-term).
What is a candida imbalance associated with?
Has a stranger ever asked you the dreaded question, "awe, how far along are you?...." me: *blank stare* subconsciously, "do I answer 10 years, or just say 'excuse me?' " - Yep, this happened to me less than a year ago.
This situation reflects an experience I had while feeling bloated, tired and simply just bad all over; this is how you would feel suffering from an overgrowth of candida or dysbiosis. Good bacteria naturally produces B vitamins when they are properly nourished that aid in the production of overall energy, feeling more alert and improving proper sleep habits.
Dysbiosis creates toxins capable of halting the natural production of B vitamins; it does so by creating a toxic full body environment. Dysbiosis also decreases the body's natural ability to regulate hormones such as melatonin which can create a disruption in the sleep cycle (your circadian rhythm), causing victims to feel tired during the day and more awake at night. Candida craves sugars, refined grains, alcohol, caffeine and other processed foods that create an acidic body environment, therefore reinforcing this negative cycle. Dysbiosis creates indigestion and discomfort after eating (which we may consider as being normal because it has been progressively getting worse over time), especially after excess fruits, sweets, grains, coffee or alcohol consumption leading to possible diarrhea or constipation rectal itching even recurring bladder, yeast and kidney infections with no apparent causes.
When being tested for bladder infections, the test may come back negative, as in there are no bacteria causing the infection, when in reality the cause may be candida overgrowth as it mimics the symptoms of a bladder infection. Candida craves foods able to maintain an acidic environment, making it easy to live and multiply; solutions such as creating a more alkaline body will naturally decrease its ability to multiply as quick.
It is well known there is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. If the GI tract is not properly functioning, mental disruptions will unfortunately increase. Candida and dysbiosis weaken the immune system in response to invading allergens, usually giving out histamines while creating classic symptoms of allergies, pain, mental fog, “spaciness”, anxiety and/or even depressing thoughts.
Do you suffer with any of these?! I would love to hear your story!
Helping you feel better through the power of plants.
| BA | CNP
| Holistic Nutritionist | farming tea geek
Owner, Teageek'ery Handcrafted Tea Blends