Candida (Candida albicans, or other species of candida) are often commensal organisms that live in our environment, and can be inhabitants of our skin and digestive system, but when out of balances (via different candida causes) creates a multitude of symptoms. Candida, when present at high amounts, particularly when residing in the digestive system, can create a host of symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, as well as cognitive challenges too. The cognitive manifestations of candida are seen as “brain fog,” poor memory, depression, anxiety, and often erratic behavior – especially in children. In fact, it is often observed in the special needs community of autism that high candida levels bring about strange behavior such as inappropriate goofiness, giddiness and laughter that often is reminiscent of drunkenness. The reason for this is the biochemical manipulation that certain candida toxins produce. One particular toxin of candida called Arabinose can have profound negative effects on physical, as well as mental and emotional health. The candida causes for these problems is vast, but there are three primary reasons for candida overgrowth in most people.
Candida Causes – Antibiotics
Antibiotics are medications that have a specific effect on certain pathogenic bacteria, but unfortunately have a role as a candida cause in many circumstances. Antibiotics can have an isolated effect on particular bacteria such as streptococcus or staph, but have an indiscriminate effect on the normal and healthy bacteria in our digestive system. These normal bacteria are critical for digestive health and play a beneficial role regarding nutrient assimilation and absorption, immune function, and proper elimination of toxins. When disturbed by antibiotics a certain percentage are killed off which leaves the small amount of candida that may be present an opportunity to flourish. It is the normal bacteria in the digestive system that in part helps prevent against candida overgrowth. Therefore, anything that disturbs the normal balance of intestinal flora (normal bacteria) is known as a candida causing agent which compromises health in general.
Candida Causes – High Sugar Diet
Candida, when kept in check by the normal flora (normal bacteria) in the digestive system, are normally not an issue. However, disturbance of the health of the digestive system leads to candida overgrowth problems, and another candida cause is high sugar diets. Sugar, whether it is found in refined products like candy, baked goods, etc. or excessive fruit or fruit juice consumption can have a stimulating effect on candida overgrowth. Many people who over consume these food items will often experience candida issues, particularly if their natural bowel flora have been disturbed in the past by antibiotics. The candida cause of high sugar diets is a major problem for millions of people. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms, but if diet is not improved with regards to candida intervention the chances of returning health back to normal are very difficult.
Candida Causes – Other Intestinal Infections and Poor Immunity
Candida is an opportunistic organism that seizes on the chance to proliferate when the health of the body is compromised by other things such as poor diet, normal bacterial balance in the digestive system, and overall poor immunity. People with serious immune disorders such as cancer and immune deficiency disease often have chronic candida problems. However, there are other candida causes that compromise health namely pathogenic bacteria and/or parasitic infections. Pathogenic bacteria and parasites in the digestive system create havoc with regards to normal bacterial balance, and cause immune system dysfunction and stress within the body. Just like a faulty diet or bacterial imbalances being caused by antibiotic use, anything that creates digestive imbalance and immune dysfunction can lead to candida overgrowth. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases the main intervention for fighting candida problems isn’t just to use anti-candida medications, but to determine what other factors are contributing to the problem and treating those as well.
Candida Causes – Testing To Identify Certain Problems
There are many diagnostic tests that can be done to help determine candida causes. One of the most beneficial tests is the Organic Acids Test (OAT) from Great Plains Laboratory. This urine profile identifies a wide array of metabolic toxins from yeast and bacteria, as well as other metabolic factors that are known to weaken the body. The OAT is a primary test in the fight against candida.
Another diagnostic test to identify potential candida cause is the Gastrointestinal Pathogen Screen w/H. pylori (#401) from BioHealth Laboratory. This stool analysis is specific for detecting parasitic infections, as well as bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori (a cause of gastritis and ulcers) and Clostridia difficle (a serious bacterial infection that can cause inflammatory bowel disease). Identifying and treating pathogenic bacteria and parasites in the digestive system is critically important if candida intervention is going to be implemented.
Finally, performing a Comprehensive Food IgG Sensitivity test is worthwhile. Another candida cause is food allergies as they create inflammation in the digestive system and weaken the immune system overall. Many times eliminating allergy foods, at the same time as reducing excess sugar helps significantly in candida treatment.
All of these factors are important for candida intervention. Many times candida causes are not just one specific thing, but instead a multitude of contributing factors. Therefore, taking a comprehensive approach to determine candida causes goes a long way to regaining optimal health.
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