By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.
Candida Albicans is a yeast that lives in our intestinal tract. It is also the yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections. It is normal to have small amounts of candida so the friendly and protective bacteria in our body called “Acidophillus and Bifidus” can use it as food.
When something happens to kill off these friendly bacteria the candida cells begin to multiply out of control.
Candida can spread throughout the intestinal tract causing bloating, gas, food reactions and allergies, constipation, diarrhea and a host of digestive complaints.
Candida can also spread to the vaginal area, the prostate, the heart, lungs, liver and cause numerous symptoms and illnesses.
The true causes of candida are not a mystery. They are also not the same for each individual person. Some people have candida due to a combination of causes. To begin with lets look at the true causes and discuss each.
1. ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics are a common cause of candida. Antibiotics destroy both harmful bacteria and good bacteria. When antibiotics destroy friendly bacteria it gives the candida a chance to begin to multiply. Anyone who has been treated with antibiotics for acne, major dental work or any condition where antibiotic use has been frequent, more than 1 course of 7-10 days, is a prime candidate for candida.
2. BIRTH CONTROL PILLS OR DEVICE: Oral birth control pills are mostly the hormone estrogen.
Supplemental estrogen in the synthetic form has been found to promote the growth of yeast. Several years ago the Great Smokies Medical lab published studies showing that hormones could effect intestinal bacteria.
A common compliant of women on birth control pills is yeast infection. The copper IUD is another possible yeast promoter.
It has been observed by David Watts, Ph.D., that copper promotes the growth of yeast. Often copper IUD users develop excessive levels of copper in their tissues. Excess copper can depress the adrenal, thyroid and immune systems of the body. This can make it more difficult for the body to resist yeast.
3. EXCESSIVE STRESS AND ELEVATED CORTISOL: Stress can cause yeast growth for several reasons. Stress causes the release of certain hormone called CORTISOL . Cortisol can depress the immune system and also raise blood sugar. The elevation in blood sugar can feed the yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. The depression in immune function will leave the body defenseless against the sudden elevation in yeast. These two reaction tend to happen together as cortisol goes up. This is the exact reason why stress causes candida. Cortisol can be addicting to the body. It raises sugar and relieves inflammation. There have been a few studies that show the body can become addicted to it and try to keep it elevated. There are several simple nutrients that help lower cortisol levels back to normal by telling the nervous system to relax.
4. TAP WATER CONSUMPTION: Common tap water is high in chlorine which has been found to destroy friendly intestinal bacteria. This will allow candida to grow as covered earlier.
5. PARASITES AND INTESTINAL WORMS: Parasites and intestinal worms are more common then anyone would think. Some researchers have estimated that over 85% of all people living in North America and Canada have parasites. Parasites can be large worm-like creatures or small microscopic organisms. Either type destroy friendly bacteria in the intestines making yeast overgrowth possible.
6. CONSTIPATION: Constipation can be caused by candida. However constipation can also lead to candida. If one does not have candida and then becomes constipated for any reason, candida may begin to grow. A digestive tract which is constipated is slow moving and becomes very alkaline. An alkaline environment is exactly what candida does best in. The more alkaline the digestive tract the happier the candida becomes.
It does not matter what causes the constipation. Constipation for any reason can easily cause candida.
7. DRUGS AND ALCOHOL: Excess alcohol can directly destroy friendly bacteria and allow yeast to grow. Beer can be a particular problem not because of the yeast but because of its maltose content. Maltose is a sugar that is derived from malt. Malt sugar is very potent and can feed yeast cells very quickly. People with candida also tend to develop allergies to all yeast products whether the yeast is healthy or not. This does not mean that hard spirits or wine in excess are any safer. Alcohol should always be used in moderation. Drugs can also cause yeast overgrowth particularly if they disturb the digestive system. Any medication or drug that can cause a gastrointestinal side effect may cause yeast growth by disturbing friendly bacteria.
8. HYPOTHYROID: Low thyroid is very common in cases of candida. The thyroid gland has an important effect on the immune system. Adequate thyroid function also helps the digestive system operate correctly. As pointed out earlier, lack of proper digestive secretions can cause reduction of friendly bacteria. Constipation is also common with low thyroid. Body temperature will drop if thyroid function is low. A drop in body temperature stops many different chemical reactions from taking place. Some of these chemical reactions stop candida overgrowth.
9. IMMUNE DEFICIENCY: Any condition that results in a weakened immune system can bring about candida. Most notable are AIDS and CANCER.
Candida can be considered a side effect of these more threatening illnesses.
10. HORMONAL IMBALANCE: It has been long recognized that an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can be a causative factor in yeast overgrowth. In order to support friendly intestinal flora, adequate amounts of both hormones are needed. Great Smokies Medical Lab published a paper several years ago which explained how these hormones are essential to the health of friendly bacteria. Any upset in this balance can cause yeast overgrowth. The hormonal imbalance must be corrected after the yeast has been reduced or relapse is sure to occur.
11. EXCESSIVE BOWEL CLEANSING: I am a firm believer in colonic irrigation and bowel cleansing. However, it does happen that one can overdo cleansing. If someone has an excessive amount of colonics without replacing friendly bifidus bacteria that lives in the colon, candida may grow. This is a rare situation, but noteworthy.
12. DIABETES: This is the most difficult case to deal with. It is essential that the diabetes be addressed first and the blood sugar be gotten under control. It is impossible to eliminate candida while the blood sugar is high. There are specific herbs that are anti-fungal and have traditionally been used to lower blood sugar. I developed this protocol 2 years ago and have used it with good results, but I feel that most people should go right on a diabetic protocol to lower their sugar before attempting any candida elimination.
13. The Toxic Metal Connection: Toxic metals show up consistently in the candida patient. They are Mercury, Copper and Arsenic. These metals disable the exact part of the immune system that seeks to control candida! They are often found in ones dental fillings and in tap water. As they pass through the intestinal tract they can stimulate the growth of more candida. Testing for them in done using a stool sample. A stool sample for toxic metals reflects the body’s ability to excrete the metals as the stool via the liver in the primary path of metal excretion; the urine is not a prime outlet for the body to dump metals. The stool also shows how much metal the candida is being exposed to!!!!!!!
Many doctors make the mistake of aggressively chelating or trying to remove metals from the candida patient early in the treatment, thinking that handling the cause will clear it faster. However this only serves to spread the candida. As the huge out pouring of metals move down the intestinal tract it contacts and spread the yeast!!!!!!!!!!
Metal removal must be done after the yeast is gone, in the Biamonte Method we use a substance which binds the metals in the intestinal tract during the early stages of candida elimination, to keep them away from the candida until we can get the patient into the 3rd phase in which the metals can be addressed safely.
14. Antiacids: Any medication that reduces stomach acid levels can cause and overgrowth of Candida. The friendly bacteria, particularly acidophilus release acid by products that control the growth of Candida. The intestinal ph should be between 6.0 and 7.4. If the ph goes higher then 7.4 Candida begins to overgrow and establich colonies.
So here you have the 14 true causes of candida. Candida is becoming a very well known and recognized problem in this country. It has been estimated at 30% of all Americans have candida. In this article we have explored the true causes. If you are interested in candida elimination please call my office.
Michael Biamonte holds a Doctorate of Nutripathy, and is a New York State certified Clinical Nutritionist. He is a professional member of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists,The American College of Nutrition and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. He is listed in “The Directory of Distinguished Americans” for his research in Nutrition and Physiology.
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