Posted by ManxyGal on March
25, 2000 at 07:59:06:
_____ From "Encyclopedia
of Natural Medicine" by Murray & Pizzorno, pages 300 ñ
*Positive demonstration of yeast overgrowth on stool culture
*Higher than normal levels of candida antibodies or antigens
in the blood
An overgrowth in the gastrointestinal
tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) "Candida albicans"
is now becoming recognized as a complex medical syndrome called
"chronic candidiasis" or the "yeast syndrome.î
Specifically, the overgrowth of candida is believed to cause
a wide variety of symptoms in virtually every system of the body,
with the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine, nervous
and immune systems being the most susceptible.
Although chronic candidiasis
has been clinically defined for a long time, it was not until
Orion Truss published "The Missing Diagnosis" and William
Crook published "The Yeast Connection" that the public
and many physicians became aware of the magnitude of this problem.
Normally, Candida lives harmoniously
in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract
and in the vaginal tract in women. However, when this yeast overgrows,
or when the immune system mechanisms are depleted, or when the
normal lining of the intestinal tract is damaged, the body can
absorb yeast cells, particles of yeast cells and various toxins.
As a result, there may be significant disruption of body processes
resulting in the development of the yeast syndrome.
This syndrome is characterized
by patients saying they "feel sick all over.î Fatigue,
allergies, immune system malfunction, depression, chemical sensitivities
and digestive disturbances are just some of the symptoms patients
with the yeast syndrome may experience.
The typical patient with the
yeast syndrome is female; women are eight times more likely to
experience the yeast syndrome than men, due to the effects of
estrogen, birth control pills, and the higher number of prescriptions
TYPICAL CHRONIC CANDIDIASIS PATIENT
*Age: 15 - 50
*General Symptoms - chronic fatigue; loss of energy; general
malaise; decreased libido
*Gastrointestinal Symptoms - thrush; gas & bloating; intestinal
cramps; rectal itching; altered bowel function
*Genitourinary System Complaints - vaginal yeast infections;
frequent bladder infections
*Nervous System Complaints - depression; irritability; inability
*Immune System Complaints - allergies; chemical sensitivities;
low immune function
*Past History - chronic vaginal yeast infections; chronic antibiotic
use for infections or acne; oral birth control usage; oral steroid
*Associated Conditions - premenstrual syndrome; sensitivity to
foods, chemicals & other allergens; endocrine disturbances; eczema;
psoriasis; irritable bowel syndrome
*Other - cravings for foods rich in carbohydrates or yeast
Chronic candidiasis is a classic example of a "multifactorial"
condition, as indicated by the following list. Therefore, the
most effective treatment involves addressing and correcting the
factors that predispose an individual to candida overgrowth;
there is much more to it than killing the yeast with antifungal
agents, whether synthetic or natural.
PREDISPOSING FACTORS TO CANDIDA
*Altered bowel flora
*Decreased digestive secretions
*Drugs (particularly antibiotics)
*Impaired liver function
*Prolonged antibiotic use
*Underlying disease states
Prolonged antibiotic use is believed
to be the most important factor in the development of chronic
candidiasis. Antibiotics suppress the immune system and the normal
intestinal bacteria that prevent yeast overgrowth, strongly promoting
the proliferation of candida. There is little argument that when
used appropriately antibiotics save lives. However, there is
also little argument that antibiotics are seriously overused.
While appropriate use of antibiotics makes good medical sense,
using them for conditions such as acne, recurrent bladder infections,
chronic ear infections, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis
and nonbacterial sore throats does not. The antibiotics rarely
provide benefit, and these conditions can effectively be treated
with natural measures ... Inappropriate use of antibiotics greatly
increases the risk of developing complications, such as the overgrowth
of Candida and other such organisms, as well as the risk of developing
a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics. In addition,
it may be several decades before it is truly known what the role
of widespread use of antibiotics plays in many health conditions.
For example, antibiotic exposure is now being linked to Crohn's
SYNDROMES RELATED TO YEAST SYNDROME
Eventually, "yeast syndrome" will probably be replaced
by a more comprehensive term that includes small intestine bacterial
overgrowth and the "leaky gut syndrome". Both of these
conditions are often associated with Candida overgrowth and may
produce symptoms identical to those of yeast syndrome.
In treating chronic candidiasis, a comprehensive approach is
more effective than trying to kill candida with a drug or a natural
anticandida agent. Drugs such as nystatin, ketoconazol and diflucan,
as well as various natural anticandida agents, rarely produce
significant long-term results because they fail to address the
underlying factors that promote candida overgrowth. It is kind
of like trying to wee your garden by simply cutting the weeds
instead of pulling them out by the roots.
Nonetheless, in many cases it
is useful to try to eradicate Candida from the system, preferably
with the help of natural anticandida therapies such as time-release
caprylic acid preparations, enteric-coated volatile oil preparations,
or fresh garlic preparations... In addition to using natural
agents to eradicate Candida, it is important to address predisposing
factors, follow a candida-control diet, and support various body
systems according to individual needs.
*DIET - number of dietary factors
appear to promote the overgrowth of candida. The most important
factors are high intakes of sugar, milk and other dairy products,
foods with a high content of yeast or mold, and food allergens.
-Sugar - Sugar is the chief nutrient
for Candida albicans. It is well accepted that the restriction
of sugar intake is an absolute necessity in the treatment of
-Milk and Dairy Products - There
are several reasons to restrict or eliminate the intake of milk
in chronic candidiasis: (1) milk's high lactose content promotes
the overgrowth of candida; (2) milk is one of the most common
food allergens; and (3) milk may contain trace levels of antibiotics,
which can further disrupt the gastrointestinal bacterial flora
and promote candida overgrowth.
-Mold- and Yeast-Containing Foods
- It is generally recommended by many experts that individuals
with chronic candidiasis avoid foods with a high content of yeast
or mold, including alcoholic beverages, cheeses, dried fruits
and peanuts. Even though many patients with chronic candidiasis
may be able to tolerate these foods, it is still a good idea
to eliminate them from the diet. At the very least they should
be avoided until the situation is under control.
-Food Allergens - Food allergies
are another common finding in patients with the yeast syndrome.
ELISA tests, which determine IgE- and IgG-mediated food allergies,
are often helpful in identifying food allergies.
*INCREASING DIGESTIVE SECRETIONS
- In many cases, an important step in treating chronic candidiasis
is improving digestive secretions. Gastric hydrochloric acid,
pancreatic enzymes, and bile all inhibit the overgrowth of candida
and prevent its penetration into the absorptive surfaces of the
small intestine - Patients on anti-ulcer drugs such as Tagamet
and Zantac actually develop candida overgrowth in the stomach.
This occurrence highlights the importance of hydrochloric acid
in the prevention of candida overgrowth. Restoring proper levels
of gastric acid by supplemental hydrochloric acid is often quite
useful in chronic candidiasis.
*ENHANCING IMMUNITY - Recurrent
or chronic infections, including chronic candidiasis, are characterized
by a depressed immune system. A repetitive cycle makes it difficult
to overcome chronic candidiasis: a compromised immune system
leads to infection, and infection leads to damage to the immune
system, further weakening resistance. The importance of a healthy
immune function to protect against candida overgrowth is well
known by any physician who has seen a patient suffering from
AIDS or taking drugs that suppress the immune system. In either
case, severe overgrowth of Candida is a hallmark feature. The
occurrence of candida overgrowth in these conditions provides
considerable evidence that attaining better immune function is
essential for the patient with chronic candidiasis. In addition,
patients with chronic candidiasis often suffer from other chronic
infections, presumably due to a depressed immune system. Typically
this depression of immune function is related to decreased thymus
function, which manifests as depressed cell-mediated immunity.
Although expensive laboratory tests can document this depression,
it is better to rely on the history of repeated viral infections,
outbreaks of cold sores or herpes, and prostatic or vaginal infections.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSED IMMUNE FUNCTION
The patient with chronic candidiasis is typically stuck in a
vicious cycle. In regard to the immune system, a triggering event
such as antibiotic use or a nutrient deficiency can lead to immune
suppression, allowing Candida to overgrow and become more firmly
entrenched in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Once
the organism attaches to the intestinal cells, it competes with
the cells and ultimately the entire body for nutrition, potentially
robbing the body of nutrients. In addition, Candida secretes
a large number of toxins and antigens (compounds that the body
recognizes as foreign and develops antibodies to). Candida is
referred to as a "polyantigenic" organism because over
79 different antigens have been identified. As a result of this
tremendous number of antigens, an overgrowth of Candida greatly
taxes the immune system.
GOALS OF THERAPY
Restoring proper immune function is one of the key goals in the
treatment of chronic candidiasis. There isn't any single magic
bullet that can immediately restore immune function... Instead,
a comprehensive approach involving lifestyle, stress management,
exercise, diet, nutritional supplementation... is used.
*Probiotics - Intestinal flora
play a major role in a person's health and nutritional status.
The intestinal flora affect the immune system function, cholesterol
metabolism, carcinogenesis and aging. Due to the importance of
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bactobacillus bifidum to human
health, supplements containing these organisms can be used to
promote overall good health. The dosage of a commercial probiotic
supplement is based upon the number of live organisms it contains.
The ingestion of ten billion viable L. acidophilus or B. bifidum
cells daily is a sufficient dose for most people. Amounts exceeding
this may induce mild gastrointestinal disturbances, while smaller
amounts may not be able to colonize the gastrointestinal tract.
*Natural Antiyeast Compounds
- There are a number of natural agents with proven activity against
Candida. Rather than relying on these agents as primary therapy,
however, it is important to address the factors that predispose
a person to chronic candidiasis - The four natural agents recommended
to treat Candida are: caprylic acid, berberine-containing plants,
garlic and enteric-coated volatile oil preparations
-Caprylic Acid - a naturally
occurring fatty acid, [Caprylic acid] has been reported to be
an effective antifungal compound in the treatment of candidiasis.
Since caprylic acid is readily absorbed in the intestines, it
is necessary to take time-release or enteric-coated formulas
to allow for gradual release throughout the entire intestinal
tract. The standard dosage for these delayed-release preparations
is 1,000 to 2,000 mg with meals.
- include goldenseal, barberry, Oregon grape and goldthread.
Berberine, an alkaloid, has been extensively studied in both
experimental and clinical settings for its antibiotic activity.
Berberine exhibits a broad-spectrum of antibiotic activity, including
activity against bacteria, protozoa and fungi, particularly Candida
- Diarrhea is a common symptom in patients with chronic candidiasis.
Berberine has shown remarkable antidiarrheal activity in even
the most severe cases - The dosage of any berberine-containing
plant should be based on berberine content. As there is a wide
range of quality in preparations, standardized extracts are preferred.
Three times a day, solid (powdered dry) extract (4:1 or 8-12%
alkaloid content): 250 ñ 500 mg
Berberine and berberine-containing plants are generally nontoxic
at the recommended dosages; however, berberine-containing plants
are not recommended for use during pregnancy, and higher dosages
may interfere with B-vitamin metabolism.
-Garlic - has demonstrated significant
antifungal activit. In fact, its inhibition of Candida in both
animal and test tube studies has shown it to be more potent than
nystatin, genital violet and six other reputed antifungal agents.
The active component is allicin -the pungent and odorous principle
of garlic. Treatment of chronic candidiasis requires a daily
dose of at lease 10 mg of allicin or a total allicin potential
of 4,000 mcg. This amount is equal to approximately one clove
of fresh garlic. Going beyond this dosage - usually results in
the odor of garlic being detectable.
-Enteric-Coated Volatile Oils
- The most recent "new wave" natural anticandida formulas
are enteric-coated volatile oil preparations. Volatile oils from
oregano, thyme, peppermint and rosemary are all effective antifungal
agents. A recent study compared the anticandida effect of oregano
oil to that of caprylic acid. The results indicated that oregano
oil is 100 times more potent than caprylic acid against Candida.
Since the volatile oils are quickly absorbed and associated with
inducing heartburn, enteric-coating is recommended to ensure
delivery to the small and large intestine. An effective dosage
for an enteric-coated volatile oil preparation is 0.2 to 0.4
ml twice daily between meals.
Most patients (but not all) can
achieve benefits from the natural agents described here rather
than the drug approach. Use of any effective antiyeast therapy
alone will probably result in the Herxheimer ("die off")
reaction due to the rapid killing of the organism and subsequent
absorption of large quantities of yeast toxins, cell particles
and antigens. The Herxheimer reaction refers to the worsening
of symptoms as a result of this die-off. This reaction can be
minimized by following the dietary recommendations for a minimum
of two weeks before taking any antiyeast agent - [and by] starting
any of the above-described antiyeast medications in low doses
and gradually increasing dosage over one month to achieve full
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