We are full of good and bad bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeasts. They live in symbiosis or harmony within us but when there is an imbalance and the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, the bad yeast takes over and grows out of control, wreaking havoc on our health. An overgrowth of harmful yeast in the body affects our vitality, immunity and our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Initially the overgrowth of yeast starts in the intestines but it can spread to other areas of the body. This yeast is called candida albicans and the condition is called candidiasis (also known as thrush). The obvious signs of candidiasis are a white coating in the mouth and tongue in infants and itching, discharge and burning in the genital region for women. Men can also develop male thrush with itching, redness and soreness of the penis. It is possible that your partner could re-infect you if he or she suffers with thrush or is a carrier of it. Both partners should then be treated to prevent re-infection.
The good bacteria in our intestine become destroyed through the use of antibiotics. When antibiotics are given for any bacterial infection (and they cannot help when we have a virus like the cold) they destroy everything. Antibiotics can’t discriminate between beneficial bacteria and bad bacteria and so they wipe out both. When the beneficial bacteria is destroyed, the yeast grows out of control in the lining of the intestine and then spreads to other areas of the body. The use of steroids (including asthma and allergy medications, birth control pills and medications for arthritis) when taken for more than three months can have the same effect. Pregnancy, with the attendant hormone changes, can also cause an overgrowth of yeast.
When a yeast overgrowth occurs in the lining of the intestines, it causes the intestines to lose the ability to break down carbohydrates or sugars such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and grains. These undigested carbohydrates then sit in the intestine and become decaying layers of sticky matter that destroy the structure of the villi (projections of the intestine) that are essential for the absorption of nutrients from food into the blood stream that feeds all our cells. This rotting matter also becomes food for the bad bacteria so it continues to grow out of control.
Another dangerous problem arises when the intestines cannot break down food and instead of normal metabolism we now get alcoholic fermentation. The alcohol spreads to all areas of the body, including the brain, and can contribute to problems with all metabolism, muscle coordination and weakness, and also cause an inability to concentrate and focus. Medical and scientific research shows this can also contribute to conditions such as ADHD, autism, allergies, dyspraxia and dyslexia.
Allergies are caused by the long stringy strands of candida albicans taking root in the inner lining of the intestines and opening the tight junctions of the intestinal wall. Instead of remaining in the intestines and being eliminated, partially digested food then escapes into the body through these gaps, setting off alarm bells for the immune system to fight and destroy these foreign particles. It is not uncommon for someone to suddenly start to develop allergies later in life and this is one of the main culprits.
It’s hard to imagine that one unfriendly little yeast can cause so many problems, but this is a very common problem and apart from the conditions above, it can also lead to depression, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, difficulty with dealing with negative emotions, numbness and tingling in the body, low thyroid function, difficulty maintaining proper blood sugar levels and cardiovascular disease.
A quick test to know if you have candidiasis is to spit into a class of water and see if there are any stringy strands in the saliva. You can also have a blood test performed by your doctor.
The cure for this is to do an effective candida cleanse for a minimum of 21 days depending on the severity. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about doing this at least once in your lifetime is that it will prevent all the “old age” conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart attack and strokes, all caused by a low grade inflammation in the body that the body cannot get rid of.
Please contact The Body Group if you would like more information on improving your gut health and ridding your body of yeast overgrowth.