Candida – Part I: Endless Symptoms

We don’t inherit our parents’ sweet tooth, we inherit their yeast overgrowth.  Our healthy gut needs a balance of friendly & opportunistic microbes, & when this harmony is disturbed, then certain usually tame microbes can flourish, the largest by far of which is Candida yeast.

Then these high-jacking fungi use the gut-brain axis to tell our brain to signal our body to crave the sugars & simple starches that Candida thrive on; & the more sweet we eat, the faster Candida grows.  But while the cravings we experience aren’t really ours, the consequential bloating, weight issues, yeast infections, & digestive disorders certainly are.

The microbes that live in us are not only beneficial in many ways, but vital to our existence.  They help digest & absorb nutrients, regulate our immune system, & manage our intestinal lining, the thin barrier preventing undigested food & toxins from going directly into our bloodstream.

Yeasts produce energy through fermentation, which breaks down sugars without the presence of oxygen.  The problem is that when yeast eat sugar, they poop out toxic alcohols & aldehyde chemicals that quickly enter our bloodstream.  This is why an overgrowth of yeast can cause a body wide variety of symptoms, especially oral thrush & vaginal yeast infections.

The Shapeshifter Will Spear You in the Guts If You Don’t Eat Right

Our gut is naturally lined with mucus for lubrication & protection.  When our gut microbiome is disrupted, Candida can easily grow out of control & become Candidiasis, where yeast colonies build a permanent foothold in our gut; forming a protective biofilm directly attached to our intestinal lining that functions a like microscopic slime shield making it very difficult to ever remove them without concerted effort, even with powerful antibiotics.

Candida also has the unique ability to change form when their conditions are not in line with our good health.  Like grasshoppers transforming into locusts & taking over a larger area than they had just previously been living peacefully.  Candida yeast responds to a shift in acidity levels in our gut by transforming from a rounded yeast cell into an elongated hyphal cell; a spear shaped form that they use to burrow & anchor into our gut lining.

Although it sounds like a children’s fable to make sure we always eat properly, but it’s a true story that a powerful shapeshifter lives inside us that closely monitors everything that we eat; & if we dare ever stray from a healthy whole food diet, the shapeshifter will transform inside our gut & devastate our health.  Candida albicans is the most infamous fungi due to its shapeshifting capabilities.

Symptoms of Intestinal Yeast Overgrowth

Once able to pierce our gut barrier, Candida symptoms can become systemic, now able to spread anywhere our bloodstream flows.  That’s why the list of symptoms associated with yeast overgrowth can be experienced in many different forms nearly anywhere in the body, including:

Autoimmune Diseases: Candida seems to be involved in every vicious cycle, where one health issue creates or causes another, which in turn creates or causes another, etc.

Candida overgrowth damages our gut lining, which allows toxins, microbes, & undigested food particles to get into our bloodstream.  Our immune system marks these foreign invaders as pathogens & attacks them.  As the invaders continue entering day after day, meal after meal, our exhausted immune system goes into overdrive, sending more antibodies to battle the invaders & causing chronic inflammation.

Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis are all believed to be either caused by candida overgrowth, or at least a seriously aggravating factor.

Brain Fog: When red blood cells are exposed to the acetaldehyde by-product of yeast overgrowth, their oxygen carrying ability is greatly reduced, which numbs our nervous system & induces brain fog.  Less oxygen reaching our brain messes with the optimization of & integration of all bodily systems.

Digestive Issues: When our gut microbiome is out of balance we will eventually experience digestive distress, often of multiple kinds; where one symptom causes or aggravates another.

Candida colonization in the gut can lead to inflammation that promotes further colonization.  This vicious cycle has chronic, low-level inflammation supporting the spread of Candida, which contributes to the body’s dysfunction & bowel disease.

Fibromyalgia / Fatigue / Low Energy: Fatigue is experienced by almost all Candida overgrowth sufferers, since when yeast overgrowth makes digestion less efficient, we get less energy & nutrients from the food we consume.

Low levels of vitamin B6, essential fatty acids, & especially magnesium are linked to chronic fatigue, but the yeast also direct exhaust our immune system, & our digestive & cardiovascular system, so it can seem like we are in the perfect storm of fatigue.

Food Sensitivities & Allergies: Yeast overgrowth results in our gut’s inability to digest & absorb the nutrients that keep our immune system working properly.

Once yeast have shape shifted, they penetrate the gut lining, making it more permeable, which causes undigested food to pass through the intestinal wall & into our blood.  Our immune cells treat these particles as a foreign substance, attacking each & every one of them.  When we eat this same food again, even if the permeability has healed, our body may recognize it as a foreign invader & attack it, creating food allergies.

Seasonal allergies work in basically the same way; as yeast weaken our natural barriers to the outside world, making our immune systems more stressed & ineffectual, allergens are able to permeate directly into our bloodstream due to the larger diameter of the weakened nasal, throat, or gut lining.

Joint Pain: Painful joints do not accompany normal aging, & are usually a strong indicator of chronic digestive issues.

A chemical by-product of Candida albicans is uric acid, which can lead to a more serious form of arthritis & gout, causing joint pain & stiffness along the way.  Long term high levels of uric acid in the body can do significant damage to joints & tendons.

Mood Disorders: The gut-brain axis produces almost all of our brain’s serotonin in the gut, but excess yeast & their biofilm suppresses our gut’s ability to make & secrete it.  Low levels of serotonin can result in mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swingsADD, & ADHD.

Not to mention how crappy it feels for both our brain & body when yeast make our gut barrier permeable & release toxic by-products throughout delicate brain tissues, & all our other sensitive organs.

One of the most serious of these by-products is acetaldehyde, which reacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to anxiety, panic attacks depression, poor concentration, & brain fog.

Sinus Infections: Most short-term sinus infections are caused by bacteria.  However, most chronic sinus infections are found to be caused by fungal overgrowth.

Unfortunately, antibiotics are usually prescribed for all sinus infections, which lead to Candida overgrowth, & have many of us trapped in an endless downward spiral of antibiotic-yeast infection.

Skin & Nail Fungal Infections: All our skin & even the entire surface of our toenails & fingernails are home to many beneficial bacteria that help prevent Candida overgrowth.  But higher temperatures, moisture, & changes in gut acidity can cause yeast to grow out of control, so that we experience microbial ecosystem imbalances such as athlete’s foot or diaper rash.

These skin & nail imbalances can also be caused by cosmetics, & especially antibacterial soaps & other antibacterial skin care products, as they indiscriminately disrupt the natural balance of beneficial bacteria.

Itching & a visible rash are the two most common symptoms of fungal infections.  Yellowing, jagged nails are a sign of fungal infections on fingernails & toenails.

Vaginal or Urinary Tract Infections: Small amounts of genital yeast are normal for both men & women.  But like all of nature’s systems, when imbalanced, there’s increasing overgrowth of the opportunistic.  3 out of 4 women will have a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime, & more than half of them will have one or more recurring infections.

Risks for developing vaginal yeast rise when pregnant, after antibiotics, with diabetes or high blood sugar levels, & it often accompanies other sexually transmitted diseases.

Candida overgrowth can also cause a UTI, more commonly in the elderly, hospitalized, & immune-compromised.  Urinary tract yeast infection symptoms include burning on urination, a frequent urge to urinate, dark urine, strong-smelling urine, or lower abdominal pain.

The Long & Winding List of Yeast Symptoms

To help understand how ubiquitous Candida is with most of today’s dietary decisions, here is the rest of the exhaustive list of common intestinal yeast overgrowth symptoms, all stemming from gut ecosystem dysfunction:

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Diverse, balanced probiotics help to maintain acidity in the gut & repopulate our gut with the good bacteria & fungi that help to combat an overgrowth of Candida yeast.  Every year we learn more about the importance of our gut health’s direct relationship to our overall health, so give yourself the best intestinal reseeding that money can buy.

The Gut Guru

FMTcapsules.com

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