Candida Yeast Infection - Candida Causes

What Causes Candida?

By far the most likely is taking antibiotics , particularly when combined with stress, but there are many other factors that will over time, upset the "ecological balance" and the health of the lining in our guts.

Antibiotics especially the broad spectrum ones (such as Tetracycline and Erythromycine) taken orally at a low dosage over long periods of time, e.g. for acne, or several big doses in six months (perhaps from your dentist or G.P.

Stress or trauma of any sort can cause pretty dramatic physical changes in our guts. It makes it more alkaline, increases the rate of flow which favours the 'bad bugs' and depletes the immunoglobulins (especially SIg A) which form the first line of defence in our immune system. So chronic stress will result in chronic gut problems.

Corticosteroidal medication, for asthma, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis. These have a general depressive effect on the immune system.

The Pill and HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) behave as female sex hormones in the body. Changing hormone levels is one of the main reasons why 60% of candidiasis sufferers are women. The Pill and HRT are often prescribed for the very menstrual problems that were probably partly due to candidiasis in the first place.

Painkillers, NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause inflammation of the gut wall and interfere with the production of prostaglandins which protect the mucous lining of our guts from our digestive acids and enzymes.

Poor diet.

Stimulants and depressants (i.e. caffeine, nicotine, alcohol) exhaust the adrenal glands, liver and pancreas and releases stored sugars into the blood stream (providing more food for the candida.)

Diabetes - means there will be more sugar in the blood and urine for the yeasts to feed on.

Pregnancy - sometimes means hormonal changes (higher progesterone) that favour candida.

Eating disorders - starvation, bingeing and purging through vomiting or taking laxatives will all damage the friendly gut flora. The candidiasis will then perpetuate the inability to lose weight and food cravings.

Not being breast fed for the first 6 months.

Formula milks will not establish the correct gut flora, essential fatty acids, or such a healthy immune system, meaning a cycle of infections and antibiotics is more likely throughout childhood and beyond.

Old age - the quality of the gut flora and of the gut lining tends to deteriorate after middle age (why the E. Coli outbreaks affected the older folk), though this can be reversed with an optimum diet.

Vaccinations and immunisations have been observed to trigger or exacerbate chronic fatigue and candida if they are given while the immune system is already stressed, or immature in the case of babies and children.

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Understanding our Gut Flora

Most people are surprised to learn that there are literally billions of bacteria and other micro-organisms which colonise our gastro-intestinal tract (gut) from shortly after birth. In fact for every cell in our body, there are 10 micro-organisms in our gut, known collectively as the gut flora. In healthy individuals there is an intricate balance (biosis) kept between the friendly bacteria (lactobacilli and bifido bacteria) and potentially harmful bacteria and parasites such as E. coli, salmonella, Giardia, Helicobacter pyloris and Cryptosporidium, to name just a few.

The friendly lactic acid bacteria help to ensure both the efficient digestion and absorption of our food and play a part in making and absorbing several essential nutrients. There are three main ways in which they prevent the yeasts and other pathogens from doing us any harm,

by occupying all the attachment sites on the walls of the gut by making the environment very acidic so they cannot grow by making selective anti-biotics which destroy them.

Leaky Gut and Liver Overload

Candida is a very versatile and opportunistic organism, so as soon as its environment is less acidic and some attachment sites are free, it will waste no time in multiplying and changing its form from a yeast into a fungus. This is known as its mycelial form, growing microscopic whiskers (hyphae) rather like mould on bread. At this stage it can produce lots of gases and waste products. But the real problems begin when it puts down roots through the gut lining and into the tissues, causing what is known as a "leaky gut". A healthy gut lining is only two cells thick, yet it provides an amazingly effective barrier between us and the "outside world". But once leaky, the yeasts' poisonous waste products and our incompletely digested food can escape along the hyphae and get into the hepatic portal vein which takes nutrients to our liver to be filtered. Soon the liver gets overloaded, then these waste products will get through into the bloodstream of the rest of the body.