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Candida, Yeast, and Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO)

Candida and yeast as organisms, are part of an even larger family called Fungi. Fungi have been around for thousands of years and are probably some of the most, if not the most, resilient organisms to exist on this planet. Fungi have adapted to many types of harsh and barren landscapes. They have even developed the ability to live without oxygen or very little oxygen for an extended time in order to survive. Because of this resilience, they have become hard to eradicate in the environment or even when found within the body.

The fungus forms known as yeast reside in many places, but certainly enjoy dark, moist, and carbohydrate rich environments as found in the human gastrointestinal(GI) tract. Candida is a yeast form that appears to be the predominant active form present in the GI tract. Although it is not completely clear, it seems the issue of Candida intensified with the advent and use of antibiotics. Antibiotics can be miraculous due to their ability to destroy disease causing bacteria in the body, but when taken orally, they disrupt the microbiome of the entire GI tract, favoring candida overgrowth.

The microbiome or flora is a combination of many types of friendly and even unfriendly bacteria that produce enzymes that digest food, that act as a protective barrier to the intestinal walls, and enliven or strengthen the immune system. Antibiotics can change this fragile balance and create a situation where normal yeast forms, perhaps residing in low dose within the GI tract, begin to flourish and grow or replicate in abundance without any friendly bacteria to control the yeast growth. In essence, antibiotic use changes the microflora environment from a protective role, to a potential war zone taken over by another host in the form of candida or yeast.

These yeast are toxic and begin to cause significant inflammation in the GI tract with the subsequent increase in histamine, eosinophils, mucous resulting in a significant distraction or irritant to the immune system. In addition these yeast can begin to break down the gut barrier, leading to and causing “leaky gut syndrome.”

Imagine that your immune system is an army of 1 million white blood cells. They have the job to protect the borders and restore every cell back to normal functioning from the normal “wear and tear” of daily living and eating. Consider now that up to 70% of the bodies immune defense represented as the white blood cells are housed in the lymphatic tissue which surrounds the GI tract. The chronic overabundance or overgrowth of Candida in the GI tract will in essence distract up to 70% of your normal immune defense from its normal task.

It does not take long before the immune system becomes completely distracted and even exhausted, while it wages a war against yeast which have an endless potential to replicate. How does Candida continue to replicate? Well, all yeast needs to survive and thrive, is sugar and refined carbohydrates. This is of course supplied in abundance in the average American diet.

The first and most important step in recovering from Yeast and Candida overgrowth is to reduce yeast expression in the GI tract. We do this by first altering the diet to reduce yeast exposure and eliminating sugar to reduce its food supply. Use our ANTI-CANDIDA DIET as an guide to minimize dietary contribution to Candida growth. In addition, we find great benefit in natural yeast killing herbs, supplements, and targeted anti-fungal medications to reduce the presence and symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth.  We have created protocols for achieving this goal in the most effective and safest possible way resulting in improvement in symptoms in just a few weeks.

Exposing Candida and its interactions with the immune system can be exposed with a simple blood test. We utilize the Vibrant America Fungal Antibodies Panel to determine the types and intensity of Fungus and Candida reacting with the immune system. If you are curious about the presence and immune response to Candida, testing can validate this concern and provide confidence as we help you choose the right therapies. If you wonder if might have Candida overgrowth and immune reactivity as a root cause of your symptoms, know that the leading symptoms of Candida reactivity are fatigue, brain fog, abdominal bloating, sugar cravings, migraines or headaches, IBS or constipation, nasal congestion, eczema and psoriasis, and itchy ears. This list comprises only the most common symptoms, and Candida has been associated with many other common symptoms and diseases. Candida and Fungal overgrowth also appears to aggravate patients who have been found to have mold sensitivity or Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome(CIRS). CIRS patient’s most definitely require anti-fungal interventions to recover in the short term and maintain abudant health long term.