Yeast Infections And Candidiasis
Candida albicans is a yeast that normally lives in the intestines. Its function is to break down undigested food particles before harmful bacteria can start growing on them. In most healthy people, the levels of this yeast are kept under control by beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus.
However, certain conditions can disrupt this balance between beneficial bacteria and Candida albicans. When this happens, the yeast organisms can grow unchecked. The yeast overgrowth starts in the intestines and then spreads throughout the body by means of the bloodstream. This condition, called systemic candidiasis, can be responsible for many different health problems throughout the body.
Is Systemic Candidiasis a New Disease?
Systemic candidiasis has probably existed for as long as we’ve been using antibiotics. It wasn’t recognized before the 1980’s, usually because it mimics so many other diseases and conditions. A person who seems to have chronic sinusitis may instead be suffering from a yeast infection in the sinuses.
Doctors have always diagnosed obvious yeast infections, including vaginitis or thrush. But treatment focused on getting rid of visible symptoms, while ignoring the possibility that a serious hidden infection existed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Systemic Candidiasis?
The symptoms can vary from person to person. Plus, they can be more severe in some people than in others. The most common symptoms of systemic yeast infections include:
- Chronic fatigue and depression
- Craving bread and sugars
- Extreme mood swings
- Feeling drunk after eating a high-carbohydrate meal
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Excessive mucus in the throat, nose, and lungs
- Chronic fungal infections such as jock itch or athlete’s foot
- Recurring vaginitis or oral thrush
- Chronic diarrhea
- Anal itching
- Memory loss
- Bloating and flatulence after most meals
Some people also suffer from the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Extreme PMS
- Night sweats and insomnia
- Chest and joint pain
- Blurry vision, along with dizziness or loss of coordination
- Intense headaches that come on for seemingly no reason
- Sneezing fits
A person with systemic candidiasis may be very sensitive to damp, moldy places, and extreme humdity. He or she may react strongly to perfumes and colonges, as well as cigarette smoke.
If Candida albicans gets into the urinary tract, cystitis, acute kidney infections, and prostratitis can result.
How Can I Tell Whether Or Not I Have Systemic Candidiasis?
A long history of chronic health problems that seem to have no cause may be a tip-off, espcially if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
- Prolonged or repeated courses of antibiotics or corticosteroid drugs.
- Taking birth control pills over a long period of time.
- A diet made up mostly of processed foods and foods that are high in sugar (this encourages Candida to grow)
- Chemotherapy, organ transplants, alcohol abuse, multiple blood transfusions, or an extended illness. Any of these can suppress the immune system.
Preventing yeast infections is much easier than treating them. Once it spreads throughout the body, eradicating systemic candidiasis can be a long, difficult process.