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All About Candida Yeast

Published on 10/11/2015
For additional information  Click Here

When Candida albicans, a family of yeast-like fungi that lives in our digestive tracts, multiplies out of control, it causes mysterious symptoms and serious health woes for women, men and children. Is it breeding in you?

Common Symptoms of Yeast/Fungus Overgrowth 

  • Skin problems: hives, scaling, athlete’s foot, jock itch, diaper rash, psoriasis, fungal nail infections
  • Muscular and nervous problems: aches or swelling in muscles or joints, numbness, tingling, burning, weakness, paralysis
  • Itchy ears and nose; increased sensitivity to smells and chemical additives
  • Migraine headaches, brain fog or inability to concentrate
  • Gastrointestinal problems: constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn
  • Oral thrush, sore or itchy throat
  • Problems involving reproductive organs: PMS, urinary tract and vaginal infections, prostatitis, impotence
  • Respiratory problems, congestion, fevers -Depression, low-mood, fatigue or lethargy -Anxiety, recurring irritability
  • Slows down weight loss process making it sometimes impossible to lose weight.




Many candida specialists depend on questionnaires, such as the one below, to help patients identify symptoms that are potentially yeast-related. The following questionnaire is excerpted from The Yeast Connection, by William G. Crook, MD. If you answer YES to at least 2 of these, you more than likely have Candida overgrowth.  A more detailed questionnaire can be found at  

  • Have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibacterial drugs?
  • Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate or urinary tract infections?

Do you feel "sick all over," yet the cause hasn't been found?

  • Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, sugar craving, low body temperature or fatigue?
  • Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes, colognes and other chemical odors?
  • Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel "spaced out"?
  • Have you taken prolonged courses of prednisone or other steroids; or have you taken "the pill" for more than 3 years?
  • Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms?
  • Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain?
  • Does your skin itch, tingle or burn; or is it unusually dry; or are you bothered by rashes?
  • Do you crave sugar, breads or alcoholic beverages?


Candida, the excessive yeast growth, occurs when Candida albicans, yeast, live in your digestive system. Yeast is like sugar, and with an overgrowth of this yeast, there are a variety of ways it can make weight loss ineffective.

How does this happen? Due to the growth of yeast, it becomes invasive, and creates holes in the intestinal wall. According to both doctors and natural therapists, invasive yeast release toxins in the blood through these holes, causing allergic reactions and inflammation in your organs and tissues.

This can also affect to your thyroid causing inflammation which can make your metabolic rate slow down and lower your body's ability to burn fat, making weight loss become more difficult. This impacts your body inflammatory reaction of retained excess liquid, causing fluid retention that can lead to fat and weight gain.

In addition, yeast overgrowth promotes intestinal flatulence and bloating, which can increase your waistline inches, even if you are a low-calorie diet. A by-product of some yeast overgrowth can also block hormone receptors, affecting the normal operation of their ability to assist with weight loss.

Your immune response of waste products from the yeast in your intestinal tract through the holes, release your immune system into action to ban toxins. One of the reactions is the release of cortisol. This triggers the fight-or-flight syndrome, your body’s way of hanging on to your stored fat to protect itself, which will obviously make weight loss difficult.

In regards to the hypoglycemia toxic byproducts of yeast overgrowth, it was found that these by-products, tartaric acid, may inhibit the body's ability to correctly extract energy from food (and absorb nutrients), and provide adequate glycemic. The result may be hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which leads to feelings of weakness and brain fog. People who have low blood sugar may eat sweets as a quick way to improve these uncomfortable symptoms, which then continues to the yeast overgrowth cycle and weight gain.


To understand why getting rid of candida can be so much harder than knocking out a bacterial infection; you need to know how candida yeast overgrowth manifests in your body.

About 80% of the time, candida overgrowth occurs when antibiotics kill the friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. Divided up about equally, are cases of candida overgrowth caused by candida spores being breathed in, transmitted orally through food sharing, kissing, or similar activities, and as babies picking it up from their mothers. Overgrowth cannot occur when the immune system is strong and the friendly flora (said to comprise 70% of the immune system response) are plentiful.

When much of your friendly flora has been destroyed, and your immune system has weakened, the oxygen-loving candida yeast begins to flourish, morphing into anaerobic candida fungi. No longer needing an oxygen-rich blood supply, the fungi are able to exist anywhere in the body.

Initially, these fungi are primarily in the intestinal tract. There, the toxic waste they chemically produce (acetylaldahyde, the same chemical that causes a hangover), irritate and weaken the intestinal wall. Candida fungi have tiny "legs" which, as the intestinal wall becomes damaged, are able to "drill" holes in the intestinal wall, leading to poor digestion and "leaky gut syndrome".

These holes enable candida to travel throughout the body, over time establishing themselves systemically. The leaky gut also allows partially digested food to enter the bloodstream. This food is not able to be used 

by your cells, and your immune system must get rid of that food. Over time, people develop food allergies, a sure sign of candida overgrowth.

Candida yeast loves sugar, excreting chemicals that cause you to crave sugars and all types of carbohydrates. Of course, as the yeast digests the food sugars before your body can use them; your cravings may be caused by low blood sugar levels.

During the nighttime, when you are fasting, the candida has plenty of time to be consuming your blood sugar. To compensate for this lack of sugar, your adrenals have to work extra hard, eventually leading to adrenal fatigue. (The acetylaldahyde also causes fatigue.) The thyroid gland is linked with the adrenal glands. As the adrenal glands wear down, the thyroid gland also starts to perform poorly, leading to decreased temperature regulation and low metabolism.


About 70% of all candida overgrowth occurs in women (if we consider the population of people over 15 years of age). As both men and women are equally exposed to antibiotics, this increase lies somewhat with the use of birth control pills, and primarily with candida's fondness for progesterone.

Candida likes to eat progesterone. So what does it do?

Candida blocks estrogen receptors so that estrogen can't lock into them, further disrupting the endocrine hormone by binding to estrogen, preventing it from being used properly by the body. Why does candida do this? Because estrogen and progesterone "teeter-totter" -- low estrogen levels cause high progesterone levels. So by creating low estrogen levels in your body, candida causes progesterone levels to be elevated, providing more and more fuel for itself.

Women often have flare-ups coinciding with their period - a time when progesterone levels are higher. By the way, there are two types of estrogen -- alpha estrogen produced by the female organs, and beta estrogen produced by the adrenal glands. Both men and women need and produce beta estrogen and not only are these estrogens inhibited by candida, but the adrenal fatigue caused by the candida overgrowth will result in even lower beta estrogen production.

So male hormones will suffer too, with low beta estrogen and low testosterone. These imbalances need to be corrected, but as men naturally produce much less progesterone than women, they do not supply such a readily available food source for the candida. Thus, out- of-control candida overgrowth affects many more women than men.


There are lots of good candida killers: Anti-fungal drugs like Nystatin and Diflucan, herbs like Pau D'Arco, Olive Leaf Extract, Oregano Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, coconut-based aplitic acid. These all do an excellent job of killing candida.

So why is candida so hard to get rid of?

Candida fungi can mutate to become immune to both anti-fungal herbs as well as anti-fungal drugs. The more complex the anti-fungal herb or drug is the easier Candida can mutate, rendering them no longer effective. Initially, the drug may kill a good portion of the candida, but this leaves an empty space which candida likes to rapidly refill.

But something else happens too - actually, two things.

Every time anti-fungal herbs are taken, the yeast will go dormant to survive, burrowing deeply into the tissues where the drugs or herbs can’t reach -- remember, they don't need an oxygen supply in which to live. They can also go dormant and "hide" to avoid an activated immune system response.

So, initially, after taking high doses of nystatin or herbs, it may seem as though your candida infection is gone -- when, in reality, it is not. Even the blood can appear free of Candida, as it lies wait in the tissues, sometimes even forming dense masses, which can’t easily be penetrated.

Secondly, when you attack candida, it is stimulated to release spores. The production of spores is how fungi and mold reproduce. Candida tend to fight back when they are being attacked, assuring their survival by 

releasing spores, which can lodge anywhere in body, awaiting just the right conditions to reactivate. They remain "dormant" so long as they sense the immune cells trying to attack. As spores, they tend to attract only a minor response from the immune system, dragging out the condition for years.

The typical scenario: You go on a strict candida diet and take lots of probiotics, boosting the immune system and noticing symptoms clearing up (though still plagued with food allergies.) Eventually, you stop taking your anti-candida supplements or drugs, go off the diet, and boom, in a relatively short while, the condition has returned.

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