What is Candida and Why Can it Be So Dangerous?

Maybe be you have heard of it but are still unclear about just what is Candida?

Candida – or more properly Candida albicans – is now commonly acknowledged as the particular type of microscopic yeast that causes yeast infection or thrush in humans – otherwise known as Candidiasis.

Yeast is a single cell organism that grows into colonies of many cells and can be seen physically at this stage when it infects areas of the body as white patches or clusters. This is how it may appear in the throat, the vagina or in the intestine when a ‘camera’ is sent in to investigate!

Normally Candida is restricted in its growth by those other little micro-organisms that are commonly called ‘good bacteria’ (at least in Yoghurt adverts). The good bacteria do not tend to cause any adverse symptoms in the body, and their actions actually provide benefits. One group, or genus, of good bacteria is the Lactobacillus family, that features better known species such as acidophilus and bifidus amongst a total of 13 helpful strains. Lactobacillus are rod shaped bacteria and they can be derived from certain food items, such as live yoghurt, where their action of creating lactic acid helps to turn milk into the popular thick creamy dessert or breakfast item.

One reason that yoghurt is sometimes recommended for application to thrush affected areas is that it will provide a ‘dose’ of Lactobacillus to try and bring Candida back under control. But naturally the yoghurt used must be the live, plain variety. Daubing some sugar laden, pasteurized mango yoghurt on your ‘parts’ is only likely to make matters even worse.

In normal lower levels Candida is a natural part of human flora and not really a problem, in some respects it even provides benefits for the body. Candida acts as a sort of ‘natural’ waste digester and starts to ferment sugary wastes. But the problems really start when it grows out of control.

This occurs, for example, when our good bacteria have been inhibited. This can be caused by taking a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off the bacterial entities that cause an infection, but indiscriminately kill off your good guys too! this allows Candida (which is a yeast, so it is not killed by antibiotics) to ‘run wild’. This is why many people suffer a yeast infection when, or just after, taking antibiotics.

In addition to losing our good bacterial body-guards we are also liable to excessive Candida growth when our body becomes overly ‘acidic’. Now this is a major problem in Western society for various reasons. Most notably the issue relates to the kind of diet we eat. Typical modern processed foods, soda drinks (like any of the cola brands – whether diet or otherwise!) and sweets, cakes or biscuits all add acidic influences to the body. Eating foods that contain simple carbohydrates is a real problem because ingredients like white sugar and white flour provide ideal food sources for Candida and do they simply exacerbate the overgrowth of yeast.

Another acidifying influence can also be stress – and the world we have created today often causes us to be stressed and therefore more acidic (the psychological impact of stress causes the release of natural acids in the body). So in addition to getting your diet right an holistic treatment for Candidiasis would also most likely require you to adopt some techniques to reduce stress in your life.

Candida loves warm, moist places which is why you can easily suffer a vaginal yeast infection or penile thrush. Another key areas where we tend to have lactic acid bacteria keeping our system running in balance and harmony is in the gut. If Candida grows out of control in the colon it can lead to ‘leaky gut’ syndrome and the yeast can then pass through the intestinal walls into the blood stream and literally be transported around the body where – if the bodily imbalance continues – it can cause all sorts of havoc.

If Candida albicans does pass through the gut walls and begin to manifest itself in colonies around internal organs of the body it can potentially lead to serious health issues. So treatment for yeast infection is necessary, but the typical over-the-counter solutions are often inadequate for providing permanent relief from the problem of Candida.

One real issue with typical prescription drugs, creams or pessaries for thrush infection, is that that they do no more than quell the more noticeable symptoms of yeast infection for a time. If your body is out of balance you need to try and address this in order to bring yeast overgrowth under control. The only effective way to do this is to take a holistic approach. This is where the selection of tried and tested holistic methods for treating Candida come in.

Simply applying a cream may temporarily provide local relief. But if Candida is affecting you systemically you urgently need to adopt an holistic strategy. The real worrisome issue with allowing Candida to continue to thrive is that internally massive colonies of Candida can starve healthy cells of oxygen. This then sets up a dangerous precedent. Cells do not willing ‘give up an die’ so they will start to operate ‘without oxygen’ – which is technically called becoming ‘anaerobic’. When cells do this they have literally regressed to a self-preserving mode of existence – but it is one that can become disastrous for the body as a whole. If the condition persists then large groups of anaerobic cells can form and these are commonly recognized as a ‘tumour’ – that’s correct – it is the beginning of a cancerous condition.

So do not ignore a yeast infection, particularly if it is persistent. You need to start a process of re-balancing your body as soon as possible and following an holistic treatment plan for regaining health and bringing Candida back under control is paramount.