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What is Candida?

Candida is nearly an epidemic in our society and is responsible for many of the chronic illness categories we see so frequently. Candida symptoms are vast and all encompassing and can be mild or even incapacitate the individual. Most people are unaware that it even exists because most mainstream doctors are uneducated about its impact on the body.  People suffering from this condition often go from doctor to doctor for years and are usually told they are a hypochondriac, that it is just stress, or a psychiatric problem. 

Candida albicans is a yeast that occurs naturally in the human body. Normally, it lives in harmony with a variety of other micro-organisms and performs important functions. The problem occurs when something upsets the balance of good bacteria in the body, which allows the yeast organism to proliferate and take over all the healthy micro-organisms.

Candida normally resides in the intestinal tract, mouth, throat, and genitals. It emits over 70 different toxins into the body which can add to the symptoms. Some people may even become allergic to the yeast itself, especially since it can create high histamine and allergies in the body.

What is “Leaky Gut Syndrome”?

Candida can burrow holes in the intestinal tract, enter the blood stream and make its way into any organ of the body. This is called “leaky gut.” Once this hearty organism proliferates in the body, it wrecks havoc in many ways and is the initiator of many common maladies, conditions, syndromes, and illnesses in our population.

What are the symptoms of candida?

  • Digestive: abdominal gas, bloating and pain, diarrhea, constipation, acid-reflux, GERDS, IBS and IBS-C, undiagnosed digestive complaints
  • Immune system: slow to heal wounds, frequent colds, or flus, recurring cold sores, infections, worsening symptoms for asthma, persistent cough, sore throat, sinusitis, post-nasal drip
  • Chronic infections: urinary bladder infections (UTIs), vaginitis, chronic or acute yeast infections, thrush, athlete's foot or slow to heal or recover from any infection
  • Pain: chronic pain, joint pain, muscle pain and stiffness, increase in overall inflammation, worsened pain in areas of previous injuries or arthritis
  • Neurological: fatigue, dizziness, loss of balance, brain fog, worsening of existing neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, numbness, tingling and tremors
  • Mental health: anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, hyperactivity (especially in children)
  • Skin conditions: itching, acne, cystic acne, eczema, hives, rashes, boils, undiagnosed skin irritations, rashes
  • Allergies and sensitivities: an increase or new occurrence in allergies and sensitivities whether environmental, food or chemical
  • Hormone disturbances: (not always the cause of a hormone disturbance, but can make symptoms worse) menopause, PMS, low sex drive, thyroid disorders
  • Cravings: an increase in cravings for sugar, carbohydrates, alcohol and salt
  • Poor nutrient absorption: inflammation leading to poor absorption (especially of iron and B12)

What Causes Candida?

There are multiple causes of a candida overgrowth. Candida is natural in the human body, and certain things or situations can cause an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut, thereby causing candida to take over. These causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Antibiotic use (including antibiotics in meat)
  • Poor diet and nutrition (especially diets high in sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates)
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Cortisone use (steroids, including inhalers)
  • Use of pharmaceuticals that suppress the immune system
  • Autoimmune illnesses
  • Ulcer medication
  • Antacids and acid reflux medication
  • Synthetic estrogen, the birth control pill
  • Dental amalgams (“silver” fillings)
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Environmental toxins (including pollution and chemical exposure - can be as simple as household cleaners)
  • Excessive stress
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Chlorinated water
  • Insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid or pancreatic enzymes
  • A body pH level that is too acidic

Can Candida be Cured?

Candida infections usually can be eliminated with a short treatment of about two to three months. On the rare occasion the case can be complicated if diet changes aren’t made, or if the immune system is suppressed by medication or an autoimmune disease. This varies case by case.

How Can I Tell if I Have Candida?

If you have the above symptoms and have had exposure to some of the causes, it is safe to say you may have candida. Testing can be done with a stool sample, blood work, or BioScan SRT testing. 

How is candida treated?

Treating candida encompasses getting the gut microbiome back in balance. This includes replacing the good bacteria, killing off the bad yeast, and applying changes in diet. Other considerations in treatment would be based on how well the patient detoxes and other health conditions. Treating candida can cause detox, or “die-off” symptoms, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling emotional

These symptoms are normal, but should never be so debilitating that the patient can’t function. Treatment is taken at a slow pace to ensure the patient's body is not overwhelmed this way.

Ananta Health begins this treatment journey by assessing the patients’ history and testing with the BioScan SRT. It is important to identify physical causes, contributors, or other complications such as parasitesLyme disease, post-viral syndromefood sensitivities and allergies or poor diet, heavy metal toxicity and environmental sensitivities need to be determined. Treatment will often include methods from traditional Chinese medicine such as herbs and supplements, diet recommendations and lifestyle changes according to each patient’s needs.  

How Can Acupuncture Help Treat Candida?

Acupuncture is also helpful in the treatment and management of symptoms since it can reduce anxiety, and stress, calm down digestive complaints and help the body detox and increase an overall feeling of wellbeing.