In previous articles, we’ve talked about how Candida overgrowth can cause a host of unpleasant digestive symptoms.
I outlined that Candida only grows in an unhealthy body, and that in order to truly overcome Candida, it’s important to address the underlying causes.
Candida can be confusing because it causes different symptoms in different people, and this is due to individual genetics, and individual immune systems reacting to Candida in different ways.
Candida is also very toxic to some people, and this is another reason why it may trigger different symptoms on an individual basis.
Person “A” could have completely different symptoms from person “B” because of all these different interactions.
From the same overgrowth, person “A” could have skin boils, heartburn, bloating, gas and constipation, whereas person “B” could have headaches, brain fog and arthritis.
In this article I want to focus on different ways Candida can cause toxicity – literally poisoning you from the inside – and why it is important to make sure you bring it under control.
By bringing Candida under control you can:
Let’s have a look at how and why this is so.
Candida can cause toxicity via a number of different pathways, which affect people in different ways, and to differing degrees.
The toxins can subtly influence your energy level, nerve and hormone function, thereby leading to confusing body-wide symptoms.
Here are the main ways Candida can be toxic:
Candida and other fungal critters can exist in different forms, as shown in the first diagram.
It can hang about as individual yeast cells, but it has the ability to grow little roots or tentacles called hyphae (on the right of the diagram).
Once it grows these little tentacles, Candida can become quite aggressive. It roots itself in your intestinal lining, causing your immune system to react.
The second photo shows Candida actually digging in and penetrating the intestinal lining.
The immune reaction leads to inflammation, which in turn can cause abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and other unpleasant digestive symptoms.
Over time, the resulting damage can lead to what we call “leaky gut syndrome”.
A leaky gut is not ideal as it enables molecules that shouldn’t break through your gut lining to get into your bloodstream.
Toxins, undigested food, bacteria and other things can enter the bloodstream and trigger fatigue, mood problems, headaches/migraines, muscle and joint pain, and skin problems.
… all because you have a bit of yeast overgrowth in your gut.
Arabinose is a type of yeast sugar that is not made by human cells. We see high levels of this sugar in urine samples of individuals with Candida overgrowth.
Arabinose can block the function of certain vitamins and proteins.
Very high levels of urine arabinose are associated with extreme symptoms and conditions relating to mood and behavior (e.g. schizophrenia and autism).
Arabinose can also form a compound called pentosidine, which may affect metabolism in several ways.
Some authors suggest that pentosidine may trigger autoimmunity, inflammation, and may be a risk for developing amyloid plaque, which is found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Sometimes, we see elevated tartaric acid in urine, along with arabinose. The test result below is a perfect example – you can see very high levels of both chemicals in the red diamonds:
When tartaric is high, we often see symptoms such as fatigue, depression, joint pain and fibromyalgia.
It causes these symptoms by interfering with the way your cells make energy.
Specifically, tartaric acid blocks a mitochondrial enzyme called fumarase (mitochondria are energy centres in your cells – like engines in a car).
Dietary assessment is also important because tartaric acid can be consumed in poultry, grape and grape products, certain fruit flavourings, baking powder and cream of tartar.
Gliotoxin is a nasty piece of work.
Yeasts, fungi and molds produce this substance when they overgrow in your intestine (or other areas of the body).
Gliotoxin damages white blood cells, which can deplete your immune function.
It also suppresses the production of a vital immune molecule called secretory IgA, which guards your digestive lining against invasion.
When secretory IgA is low, you can’t fight off infections in your digestive tract, urinary tract, sinuses and lungs.
Low secretory IgA is often found in our clients’ stool tests; in fact, it is rare to see people with chronic digestive symptoms have normal or optimal IgA levels.
Finally, gliotoxin can generate oxidative stress, which uses up the body’s antioxidants, including vitamin C and glutathione.
Low antioxidant levels are associated with poor health and accelerated aging.
I hope you are starting to see why Candida overgrowth and other yeast, mold and fungal issues are important!
Yeast is used in alcoholic beverage production because it ferments glucose (sugar) into acetyl aldehyde and finally into alcohol.
Yeast overgrowing in your intestine can also cause this reaction.
In fact, people have been arrested for drink driving and positive Breathalyzer tests because of yeast overgrowth in the gut!
Increased acetyl aldehyde also interferes with vitamin B6.
If B6 metabolism is altered, it can affect your detoxification, brain chemistry, hormone production, potentially leading to many weird and wonderful symptoms.
These symptoms might include menstrual problems, confusion, depression/anxiety, fatigue, anemia and dry skin (including dermatitis).
Acetyl aldehyde detoxification uses up nutrients such as vitamin B2, iron and molybdenum, and may lead to subtle deficiencies in these nutrients.
“Biofilm” is a fancy term used to describe a kind of cocoon, or house, that microorganisms build for protection.
The diagram explains biofilm formation better than I can in words.
Microbes talk to each other, club together, and build these little cocoon structures.
The structures grow, and eventually lots of new free-swimming microbes break free, at which point the process begins again.
Dental plaque is a good example of a biofilm – a hard substance that takes effort to scrape away. Imagine this in your intestine, or lungs!
Interestingly, different organisms can share biofilms, and it is common to find several different types hiding in them.
You can find Candida, bacteria and parasites all hiding under the same roof, so to speak.
Now, it is important to realize that Candida definitely forms biofilms! This is not myth or guesswork – we know it happens.
H. pylori can also form biofilms, and so can many other bacteria. Parasites are also found hiding in biofilms.
It’s no laughing matter.
Candida will transform from free-swimming yeasts into a biofilm when conditions threaten its existence.
It’s no different from a human being or animal seeking shelter when threatened.
Biofilms are thought to be one of the main reasons for antibiotic and antifungal resistance – the medications cannot penetrate the biofilm shield and kill the microbes within.
Free-swimming microbes are killed, and symptoms can improve initially.
But because the biofilm is not attacked, weeks or sometimes months later, all the symptoms come back because the microbes break free from the biofilm and invade again.
This is a BIG deal!
In fact, in a published paper by Bjarnaholt, et al, we find this statement:
“In cases where the bacteria succeed in forming a biofilm within the human host, the infection often turns out to be untreatable and will develop into a chronic state.”
In cases such as these, we need to use specific substances to break the biofilms down before medications and herbs can have any chance of being effective.
Intestinal Candida overgrowth can cause a wide range of body wide symptoms via several mechanisms:
The end result of these mechanisms is a hotchpotch of symptoms – different from person-to-person – that can become confusing.
These symptoms commonly include:
Of course, these symptoms can develop in addition to heartburn, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.
But sometimes, there are no obvious digestive symptoms. In some folk, Candida causes weird symptoms around the body in the absence of obvious symptoms.
Nobody has to live with Candida overgrowth, or any other yeast/fungal overgrowth for that matter.
Identifying the problem is the first step to recovery, which involves some lab testing.
Docs probably won’t want to run testing for Candida, as despite scientific and clinical evidence to the contrary, the medical system doesn’t acknowledge intestinal Candida as a problem.
Of course, it’s important to remember that similar symptoms can result from H. pylori infections, parasites or even something as simple as gluten sensitivity or low stomach acid.
My advice is to pinpoint the exact reasons for your symptoms so that you’re able to take precise, laser-focused action steps to heal your body.
The reason is simple: Candida can cause the same problems as something like H. pylori. But the protocols needed to deal with them are completely different.
Unless you know what is going in on in your tummy and intestine, you could easily waste a lot of time and money on the wrong approach.
In the next article, we’ll look at some of the things you can do to get rid of Candida and its cousins, including diet, medications and supplements.
For now, if you’re keen to get rid of bloat, discomfort, low energy and any other symptoms we know result from Candida and its friends, we can certainly help.
A comprehensive stool test, done at home, will identify more than 50 possible reasons that are holding you back and stopping you feeling yourself.
I know, I know: the thought of sending poop in the post isn’t pleasant, but neither is a lifetime of feeling unwell.
It’s a simple process, and the test kit has all the instructions you need.
If you’re a little overwhelmed or concerned, you may feel more comfortable talking to someone first.
Either way, we’d love to help you feel well again soon.
All my best,
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