Candida has been found to produce 79 distinct toxins. These candida toxins are also suggested to be responsible for many of the symptoms that Candida sufferers have as well as the "candida die off reaction." Candida has also been suggested to play a part in creating what is called a "leaky gut," an unfavorable increase in intestinal permeability. Undigested food particles and toxins are allowed to pass directly into the body creating a host of problems. These particles trigger an immune response -sensitizing the individual to normally harmless molecules. When this happens, the individual may become "environmentally sensitive," responding to inhalants in the environment as well as various foods. These reactions do not create typical allergic symptoms. Because of the strain on the immune system to break these undigested molecules down, the body's ability to defend against Candida may be further weakened, creating a cycle. These particles may also pass through the blood/brain barrier, and produce other mental symptoms that may create a misdiagnosis of a neurotic disorder. Research is currently being done at the National Institute for Health on this specific condition.
Candida overgrowth can present a wide variety of symptoms, the exact combination and severity of which are unique to each individual case. Because candida can manifest itself through many seemingly unrelated symptoms, the diagnosis is very often missed. Please see our self-administered Candida Symptom Assessment Questionnaire on our Candida Diet page. Candida symptoms are usually chronic and include but are not limited to the following:
Allergies: to foods and/or airborne chemicals; particularly adult-onset allergies. The number of offending substances can keep increasing until an individual becomes so sensitive to the everyday environment that they must live in isolation.
Fatique: continual, but often more noticeable after eating.
Gastrointestinal: poor digestion (constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps, heartburn, nausea, gastritis, colitis, etc.)
Neurological: carbohydrate cravings, irritability, mood swings, headaches, migraines, "fogged-in" feeling, inability to concentrate/mind "wanders off", poor memory, confusion, dizziness, M.S.-like symptoms (slurred speech, loss of muscle co-ordination, vision affected), depression and/or anxiety without apparent cause (often worse after eating), paranoia without apparent cause, not in total control of one' actions (know right thing to do but unable to execute), mental incompetence (sometimes leading to institutionalization), a variety of other behavioral disturbances.
Genito-urinary: vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, impotence, infertility, prostatitis, rectal itch, urinary tract infection/inflammation (urgency, burning).
Respiratory: compromised immune system (frequent colds, flus), hay fever, mucous congestion, postnasal drip, asthma, bronchitis, chest pain, frequent clearing of throat, habitual coughing (usually non-productive).
Skin: athlete's foot, jock itch, skin rash, hives, dry brownish patches, psoriasis, ringworm, rough skin on sides of arms which gets worse at certain times of the month or under increased stress.
Symptoms resistant to all modes of therapy. The physician may conclude that patient is a hypochondriac and/or neurotic and may suggest tranquilizers, anti-depressants and/or psychiatric help.
Clinical history (early childhood): ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, aggressiveness, SKIN problems (cradle cap, diaper rash, thrush), RESPERATORY problems (chronic ear infection, tonsillitis) or GI problems (colic).
Miscellaneous: cold extremities, arthritis-like symptoms, etc.
Destruction of the C. albicans natural control mechanism: Broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. tetracycline) destroy the healthful bacteria, which control the Candida population. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus competes with C. albicans for space and nutrients in the intestinal tract. It also releases acid, which makes the environment less favorable for Candida growth; and even feeds off of the Candida directly. When Lactobacillus acidophilus is attacked by antibiotics, Candida proliferates and can change to its pathogenic mycelial form. After prolonged (several months or more) or frequent (more than 3 times in a year) broad-spectrum antibiotic use, Candidiasis symptoms may start to appear in a matter of months or even days and often linger for life if untreated, especially if one regularly consumes poultry, eggs, meats and/or milk since these usually contain antibiotics (and steroids, see (2) directly below). Chemical preservatives in food also support Candida overgrowth.
Weakening of host defense mechanisms: A number of factors can compromise the effectiveness of the immune system that is responsible for eradicating invaders such as Candida. Lowered immunity may result from steroid drugs and cancer chemotherapeutic agents, both of which are immunosuppressant. Prolonged illness, stress (all forms), alcohol abuse, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of rest and poor nutrition are also key factors which tend to weaken the immune system.
Female anatomy: Women are generally more susceptible to Candidiasis than men for several reasons:
Female hormonal levels are constantly fluctuating and sustained high levels of estrogen can occur. This condition tends to impair immune system function.
Candida albicans growth is stimulated by the female hormone progesterone. Its levels are elevated during pregnancy and in the second half of each menstrual cycle. Synthetic progestins found in oral contraceptives can also contribute to candida overgrowth.
The female anatomy lends itself to the ready migration of Candida albicans from the rectum to the genito-urinary system. Vaginal yeast infections are a common result.
Poor diet establishes a breeding ground for Candida: The nutrient-poor, low-bulk, high-refined carbohydrate diets of most North Americans will, over a period of years, transform a healthy large intestine into a lifeless pipe caked with layers of encrusted fecal matter (the site of constant putrefaction, fermentation, rancidification, home for toxin-inducing pathogenic bacteria) and an excellent environment for the proliferation of the mycelial tentacles of Candida. (The high-refined carbohydrate diet also serves as a very desirable food for C. albicans which further entrenches it within the microscopic crevices of encrusted fecal matter.) The small intestine, housing a more fluid chyme, does not become so caked with old fecal matter as it does with mucus. This also encourages Candida proliferation.
because it seemed so relevant i decided to post the article from the following website.
Ok, call me a skeptic.
Sounds like a diet looking for a disease and the best is one made up.
The other side of debate
The term "candida" does not imply the same thing for everyone. Many medical practitioners (almost exclusively alternative medicine practitioners), believe that the candida fungus is responsible for a large number of ailments, such as fatigue, depression, headaches, pain and/or swelling in joints, constipation and/or diarrhea, loss of sexual desire or feeling, premenstrual tension, shaking or irritable when hungry, bad breath, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and more. A much larger list (76 possible symptoms) can be found at this and (some even longer lists) at many other sites.
The proponents of this approach consider several factors that weaken the body's ability to control the candida (with bacteria that reside in one's body) at a normal level - stress that weakens the immune system, environmental contaminants, use of antibiotics, high-carbohydrate diets, mercury amalgams (fillings in teeth), and more. Treatment is highly variable, depending on the speciality of the practitioner. Most of the web sites that discuss this problem also offer treatment for a fee.
The question we now ask, is that of plausibility - could all these symptoms be a result of a yeast called candida, running wild, and if so, is there any study that provides evidence to this effect?
The proponents of the theory linking these 70 and more symptoms to candida claim that candida releases a variety of toxins, that can attack many different parts of the body, consequently producing a host of different symptoms. This is possible. It is also possible that these symptoms are unrelated, at least in part. Likewise, maybe a host of different bacteria, or viruses, or hormonal imbalance, or toxins, or allergies, or food-sensitivities, or a combination of any of these cause these symptoms without any connection to the actual candida yeast.
Medicine is an empirical science - it is based on experimental data and observational experience; not on hypotheses that have been arbitrarily assumed in order to provide a name to a disjoint goup of (often contradictory!) symptoms. If you have a medical problem, you would want to utilize remedies that have been tested in large studies that assure both their effectiveness and safety. Our tutorial on medical studies describes the meticulous process needed to assure that the medical treatment we get is the best available.
So the question concerning candida and this large aggregate of symptoms is - where's the study (studies) that link these symptoms to candida? The answer is dismaying - there are none! (If you are aware of a qualified study linking candida to these symptoms, please use the "Contact Me" link on our Home Page). So considering candida as the root cause of the many listed symptoms remains an unproven postulate, that is no more plausible than linking these symptoms to many other diverse causes.
well i pulled up 417 peer reviewed research articles on my universities academic search elite database but i have no way to link those to you... i would if i could. personally i don't need to see the proof but i can understand your doubt and respect your opinion that you do being a woman i have had many experiences with "yeast" overgrowth in my lifetime, i have seen infants and toddlers with thrush, and we all would share the healing - acidophilis, or even in a more slow way eat yogurt.. i was told this by a nurse midwife when i had my first child and i have shared it with others on occassions. acidophilis tablets only cost around 10.00 so its not like it would cost a lot to be relieved of some of the above mentioned symptoms. i happened to have a distressful coughing situation doctor looked at me like i was a med seeking hypochondriac and offered no help - i happened to figure it out myself.
as of today i am 2.5 weeks post tx. had terrible sx that i had to stop early had that horrible cough but now it is gone and i have no brain fog what so ever today. i feel almost 100% maybe 95%...
are there any others in this support group who have knowledge of acidophilis? i know many are into herbals and natural stuff. is acidophilis something we were told to avoid during tx? i am not sure. but to me it doesn't matter cause i am post treatment
I appreciate your articles, been taking pro-biotics for years...or replacing them rather...so glad to know youre feeling so much better...
thank you for your contribution to this subject. actually i looked at the bottle i bought i call acidophilis, it is lactobacillius. but i am sure it is somehow the same thing. i probably haven't been referring to the full name. acidophilsi lactobacillius...
jboy here are some studies from internet national institute of health. on neonatal..
except "ystemic candidiasis in neonates is not limited to bloodstream infection: meningitis, urinary tract infection, and deep skin infection are other manifestations (last week the headache i had i thought might have been meningitis it hurt so bad for four days straight - while i was taking antibiotics which contribute to overgrowth of candidas by killing off friendly bacteria. maybe if i had been taking the acidophilis during tx i could have kept the headaches at bay)
here is another the whole article regarding oral complications of chemotherapy on this one is good i recommend a read here is but one except their discussions in the article include pretreatment protocols prior to tx of chemos (for cancer pts)...
the link: http://consensus.nih.gov/1989/1989OralComplicationsCancerTherapy073html.htm
Several types of oral mucosal lesions are caused by overgrowth and infection by Candida species, including pseudomembranous candidiasis (removable white plaques), chronic hyperplastic candidiasis (leukoplakia-like white plaques that do not rub off), chronic erythematous candidiasis (patchy or diffuse mucosal erythema), and angular cheilitis. Fungal cultures, potassium hydroxide, and gram-stained smears are helpful diagnostic tools. The white, raised, removable plaques of the pseudomembranous form of candidiasis are most obvious to the examiner. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a potassium hydroxide smear. These organisms may infect other sites in the gastrointestinal tract and cause esophagitis or diarrhea. In neutropenic patients, mucosal infection with Candida may lead to systemic infection.
Topical forms of therapy for oral candidiasis include nystatin and clotrimazole. Pseudomembranous candidiasis can usually be treated with topical nystatin. Lesions of chronic oral candidiasis usually require much longer treatment, especially in patients with severe chronic xerostomia resulting from head and neck radiation therapy. In more extensive infections, such as esophagitis, oral ketoconazole may be effective. For infections not responding to the above measures, a course of low-dose intravenous amphotericin B may be indicated. Disseminated candidiasis should be managed with intravenous amphotericin B.
and here found this by accident: and it relates to my recent urgent office visit where i was basically offered no help. maybe because i was his last appointment and he was eager to get home. but likely he just thought i was a med seeking nut.
it is an interesting read about sinusitis they describe the urgency of these symptoms (exactly what i was experiencing - had i only found this before i showed up at the drs office maybe i would have gotten real help. he didn't even refer me to another specialist basically just dropped me cause in his opinion he saw nothing wrong.
in fact i went to look at the sinuitis article again, and it is put forth by the joint council of asthma and immunology... and the specialist i saw specialized in asthma. i am going to send him a copy of this article. and my rantings on this post (just kidding). become self advocates, get all the info you can for yourselves and from each other here. because these doc's don't always know all their stuff. infact the first time they told me i had asthma 14 mths ago. was after they at the hmo had given me 5 rounds of increasing doses of predneson, how could a specialist in this field who saw me because i was in crisis, not know that steriods cause candidas?? see now i am mad, cause i am armed with this knowledge..