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What is Candida and what does it have to do with Toxic Mold Exposure?

Candida is a yeast-type of fungus.  In healthy individuals small amounts of this fungus live in your mouth as well as your intestines.  The main purpose for Candida in the body is to assist with your digestion process and nutrient absorption however, when Candida yeast multiplies more than it should it actually starts to break down the walls of your intestines and then will cross over into the bloodstream where it begins to release toxic byproducts into the rest of your body thus causing "leaky gut syndrome".  Leaky gut causes many many different heath problems from digestive problems to even anxiety and depression.

Here's what Amy Meyers, MD says
about Candida and Chronic Candida overgrowth

How do you get candida overgrowth?

The healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, several factors can cause the candida population to get out of hand: 

  • Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar (which feed the yeast)
  • Consuming a lot of alcohol 
  • Taking oral contraceptives 
  • Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods like Kombucha, sauerkraut and pickles
  • Living a high-stress lifestyle
  • Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
     

Here are 10 common candida symptoms

  1. Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus) 
  2. Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  4. Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  6. Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  8. Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  9. Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
     

How do you test for Candida overgrowth?

Blood test 

You'll want to check your levels for IgG, IgA, and IgM candida anti-bodies. These can be checked through most any lab. High levels indicate an overgrowth of candida. I find in my clinic that these can often be negative even when the stool or urine test is positive.

 

Stool testing 

I find this to be the most accurate test available. This will check for candida in your colon or lower intestines. The lab can usually determine the species of yeast as well as which treatment will be affective. (Note: be sure that your doctor orders a comprehensive stool test rather than the standard stool test.) 

 

Urine Organix Dysbiosis Test 

This test detects a waste product of Candida yeast overgrowth known as D-Arabinitol. An elevated test means an overgrowth of candida. This test will determine if there is candida in your upper gut or small intestines.

 

How do you treat candida overgrowth?

Effectively treating candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and healing your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

Getting rid of the candida overgrowth primarily requires a change in diet to a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is what feeds yeast, so eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms like candy, desserts, alcohol and flours. 

And reducing to only one cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes will prevent the Candida from growing and eventually cause it to die.  I would recommend eliminating all fermented foods as well. 

Using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. Because of this I use an anti fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer with my patients. If you are self-treating you can take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic Acid comes from coconut oil and basically "pokes holes" in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.  

You may read that some people recommend herbs such as oil of oregano. Oil of oregano can be very effective, but it can also kill good bacteria so I don't recommend it. The anti-fungal medications and caprylic acid are very specific to yeast and will not harm your good bacteria.

It's a must to restore the healthy bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control, you should take probiotics on a regular basis. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics should help to reduce the Candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.  Finally, healing your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract and introducing foods that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption, will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and will dramatically improve your overall health.

If you would like to find out for sure if you have candida overgrowth, consider seeing a functional medicine doctor who is trained in detecting and treating candida.

Dr. Amy Myers

Amy Myers, MD is the Founder and Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine practice in Austin, Texas. Dr. Myers seeks to find the root cause of illness rather than treating only the symptoms with medications. She works with children and adults from across the country who suffer from IBS, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, digestive disorders, hormone imbalances, and much much more. Nutrition is a large part of her practice and she believes that food is medicine! Dr. Myers has published a series of eBooks The Myers Way: Comprehensive Elimination Diet and The Myers Way: Guide To Gluten-Free Living and The Myers Way: Guide To Candida. She holds monthly nutritionist-led 21- Day Elimination Diets. Sign up for her newsletter and get a FREE eBook of her 12 favorite gluten-free and dairy-free recipes.

 

Don't think Candida is a Huge Issue?  THINK AGAIN!!

Even medical research and statistics are showing an alarming MORTALITY rate from Candida infections

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24661820

Is there a "Gut/Brain connection" to chronic Candida overgrowth? Got a minute?  Watch this 10-minute amazing video by Bryan Spector

What is Candida and How is it connected to Mold Toxicity?

I had a medical consultation with Dr. Mary Short-Ray D.O., Florida
Here is a brief story about Mary Short-Ray's experience with mold and Candida.  Mary is a family practice physician and has been in practice for over 15 years. In 2006 she was sick with many terrible symptoms for 11 months. She did not know why she was sick until she consulted her medical colleague, Amy Myers M.D. of Austin, Texas.  Amy helped her discover she was being exposed to very high levels of stachybotrys, the more common toxic black mold and chaetomium, a less common toxic white mold. This was what caused all of her symptoms over the span of a nine month exposure. Now, 6 years later, including about 1 to 2 years of detoxing and through the help of diet, medication, supplements, avoidance of mold and prayer, She is healthy again!  Visit her site today for more information that could save your life!!

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