The Candida Catastrophe In Chico & Redding

Candida and other yeast overgrowth feed on undigested food in the bowel. 

Improving digestion, diet and rebalancing flora are key to beating this problem.

You may have more friends that you think: there are more bacteria in your intestines than there are cells in your entire body. As many of 40,000 different types of bacteria call us home. You have billions of little critters that love you; and as the old saying goes: “with friends like these, who needs enemies?” When we are healthy, a harmonious balance exists between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in our intestines. Whenever this balance becomes disrupted, the stage is set for illness. You may have heard of Candida, or Candidiasis, which is an over growth of yeast in the bowel. Candida occurs when the balance of bacteria in the bowel becomes disrupted, and your immune system weakens. 

What are the symptoms of Candidiasis? 

Symptoms of Candida may include lethargy, chronic gas, bloating, abdominal cramps, irritable bowel, bloating after eating, indigestion constipation, chronic sinus problems, a white coating on the tongue, rectal itching, and skin rashes. If you have Candidiasis, foods high in sugars and carbohydrates will dramatically increase the symptoms of Candidiasis. 

Why do high sugar foods increase the symptoms of Candida? 

In our guts, yeast actually feeds on undigested sugars producing alcohol, gas, and bloating after eating.  This sounds a little like the brewing process doesn’t it? Add yeast to a mixture of water and maltose, which is the sugar in grains, and you start to make beer. In essence, yeast overgrowth is like having a tiny microbrewery in the intestines. The problem is that your liver and immune system cleans up the mess after the yeast has partied hardy. That process isn’t pretty. One of the causes of Candida is the average American diet. We consume over 153 pounds of sugar a year! You might say, “Oh that’s not me!” If you eat packaged foods, chances are you’re getting more sugar than you think. Food manufacturers add sugar to packaged foods to make them taste better. Consider Kellogg’s Special K. Since the seventies, the amount of sugar added to this cereal has almost doubled. Today, Special K has almost the same percentage of calories coming from sugar as ice cream! 

Another factor in the epidemic of Candiasis is the widespread use of antibiotics. Most common antibiotics kill a wide spectrum of bacteria and often wipe out our beneficial bacteria while killing harmful bugs. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but do not kill viruses, which causes the common cold. Doctors write over 83 million antibiotic prescriptions per year. The Center for Disease Control says 50 million of the prescriptions are unwarranted and unnecessary. In addition to building immunity to the antibiotic, repeated use of unnecessary antibiotics disrupts the balance of bacteria in your gut and fuels yeast overgrowth. 

A third factor in the Candida crisis is compromised digestion. Many people suffer from inadequate digestion, heartburn and other functional digestion problems. Antacids, while giving symptomatic relief for heartburn, actually weaken digestion, and give yeast even more undigested food to feed on. Antacids and acid blocking medications are pouring gasoline onto the yeast fire. 

If Candida is so common, what’s the big deal? 

The problem with yeast overgrowth is that yeast inflames the lining of our intestines and Leaky Gut Syndrome may follow. The yeast also has deep vine-like roots, which eventually puncture the lining of the small intestine. When this happens, microscopic holes in your intestinal lining allow particles of partially digested food, viruses, bacteria, and other parasites to enter your blood stream. This parade of foreign critters leaking into your blood creates a flood of toxic material for your immune system to eliminate. The constant influx of undigested food, toxins, and bacteria leaking into our guts eventually over works and hyper sensitizes our immune system. Once our immune systems become hyper-sensitized and over worked, we get chronic allergies and autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus are just two examples of autoimmune diseases. The good news is that you don’t have to live with the symptoms of Candida, and its catastrophic effects. Achieve control and reduction of yeast overgrowth by improving your diet, eliminating your food sensitivities, and improving your digestion. 

Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, Internal Health Specialist, Founder of the Digestion Relief Center, in Chico, California specializes in effective, natural relief for IBS, food sensitivities and digestive problems. Learn more at Find relief like thousands of  people in the Chico Redding California have.

Published in the Chico Enterprise Record Healthbeat July 2007.

2007, © Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC. All Rights Reserved.

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