What is Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome?
Candidiasis is a common umbrella term used for fungal infections that are caused by any type of Candida. Candida is a type of yeast, generally known as Candida albicans. This is the cause of many undesirable symptoms in the body such as fatigue, weight gain, gas and joint pain. The fungus is normally present in moist areas within the body, such as the intestinal tract, vagina and the mouth. It is also known to infect the skin surface or mucous membranes at times. While these infections are usually minor in nature, sometimes serious and deeper infections can take place in patients who are already suffering from some other illness and thus their immune system is weakened. Candidiasis is a serious problem and can often involve meningitis, pyelonephritis, septicemia, and other infections along with it. Meanwhile, Candidiasis hypersensitivity (CH) is a controversial condition that is related to the overgrowth of candida in the body. Candidiasis hypersensitivity is also known as systemic candidiasis and it is a term used to refer to the entire gamut of symptoms that are related to candida overgrowth. Candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome is also known as the yeast syndrome, the yeast hypersensitivity syndrome, chronic candida, or just plain candida as well at times. Candidiasis hypersensitivity is a term coined by alternative medicine as conventional medicine still does not recognize the term as being valid.
What are the Causes of Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome?
Basically, the theory behind adrenal fatigue is that constantly living under stress ultimately wears out your adrenal glands. The glands get tired from overworking and stop producing sufficient cortisol for a person to feel energized during the day. Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for helping us manage stress and regulate our metabolism. Brought into the mainstream in 1983 by Orion Truss, the theory behind candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome is that people who have too much candida present in the body or are frequently getting candida infections, they tend to develop a hypersensitivity similar to an allergy to this yeast. Symptoms of this hypersensitivity allergy are said to be similar to other allergies and include sinus congestion, intestinal gas, fatigue, difficulty breathing, amongst others. Nearly 20% of all people with a weak immune system, end up with some sort of systemic diseases caused by Candida.
Candidiasis is also likely to become invasive in people suffering from cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation are used on cancer patients to kill the cancerous cells and tumors. The same process, however, also kills off the good bacteria in the body that can help in fighting Candida which can lead to development of candidiasis hypersensitivity syndrome.
Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can also lead to an increase in Candida levels in the body. This is because of sugar levels in the mouth, as well as other mucous membranes, become temporarily high as compared to an individual without diabetes. As sugar feeds yeast, diabetics thus are at a higher risk of getting Candida hypersensitivity.
Pathophysiology Behind Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome
The basis for Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome, as described by Dr. Crook, is that antibiotics often kill the ‘friendly bacteria’ in our body while attacking the germs. When these friendly bacteria get killed, yeast germs are able to multiply freely. Furthermore, having a diet rich in carbohydrates and yeast can also lead to growth of candida in the body. Sometimes, birth control pills are also known to stimulate the growth of yeast within your body. Furthermore, due to our eating habits, nutritional deficiencies and sugar consumption have become a part of our daily lifestyle. These factors also increase the growth of yeast in the body. With the immune system compromised, you start feeling bad ‘all over’ and may develop digestive, respiratory or other ailments. As part of this reaction, mucous membranes of the body start to swell, thus giving rise to infections caused by bacteria and viruses. A strong immune system would normally battle against these. Broad-spectrum antibiotics prescribed during infections, tend to promote the growth of Candida albicans, depressing your immune system further. In order to interrupt this vicious cycle, you need to undertake a comprehensive treatment program that decreases the growth of Candida albicans.
Symptoms of Candida Hypersensitivity Syndrome: Could You Have It?
Symptoms for Candidiasis Hypersensitivity Syndrome are wide ranging and can include the following:
- Inability to concentrate.
- Cravings for sweets.
- Bad breath.
- White coat on tongue.
- Skin problems.
- Hormone imbalance.
- Joint pain.
- Loss of sex drive.
- Abdominal pain.
- Fungal infections of the nails.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Gas or bloating.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Chronic sinus and allergy issues.
As you can see, the symptoms of Candida hypersensitivity syndrome are very similar to many other conditions. Therefore, before assuming that you have Candida hypersensitivity, get a thorough check-up done from your physician.
Treatment for Candida Hypersensitivity Syndrome
There are many proposed natural treatments that can lower the amount of yeast in your body. While it is not possible to eliminate Candida albicans completely and permanently from the body, treatment can provide immense relief to the patient. However, as soon as the treatment is stopped, it is likely that the growth of Candida will resume again as it is a natural inhabitant of the human body. Some treatments that have been known to show benefits in the treatment of Candida Hypersensitivity Syndrome include:
- Increasing the intake of Probiotics.
- Having grapefruit seed extract.
- Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help in killing Candida through ingestion as well as topical application.
- Milk thistle supplements can cleanse your liver from antibiotics and prescription medications that have led to the overgrowth of the yeast.
- Consumption of red thyme.
- Consumption of barberry.
- Consumption of caprylic acid.
- Garlic consumption is also known to keep yeast growth in check.
- Essential oils, such as peppermint oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil are also supposed to help in Candidiasis hypersensitivity.
- Candidiasis hypersensitivity can also be treated with antifungal medications, such as clotrimazole, fluconazole, echinocandins etc.
However, before you begin any course of treatment, it is a good idea to consult your primary physician as the scientific basis for the usage of any of these treatments is weak.
Why is Candida Difficult to Treat?
Candida albicans is difficult to treat as it protects itself by hiding from your immune system. A single therapy session is thus unable to treat the full cause and therefore a multi-faceted treatment plan is required for treating Candia albicans. Candida can also exist in at least two different forms within the body. One form of Candida yeast survives well in the acidic environment, while another, a fungal form, thrives in a neutral or alkaline pH environment. If the conditions in the intestines change, the yeast is able to switch between either form and survive in both extremes of the environment.
Candida albicans is also able to adapt itself by changing the pH of its environment. By releasing metabolites such as ammonia, it is able to raise the pH of its surroundings and thus switch between a yeast form and a fungal form. Candida albicans then goes ahead to create colonies in your intestines and continue to multiply further. Therefore, by switching its basic form, it is able to remain resistant to many forms of treatment.
Performing a Candida Cleanse
A Candida cleanse can be used to rid the body of the yeast overgrowth. This is done by flushing out the digestive tract and introducing healthy Candida that is found in Kefir and fermented vegetables. There are two options for Candida Cleanse:
- Liquids-only cleanse.
- Gentler cleanse through food and eliminating grains, fruits, starches, sugars and alcohol from your diet.
- You can also undergo a thorough reboot of the gut by undertaking both the options together, that is, going through a liquids-only cleanse and then the good cleanse.
Signs Which Indicate That Candida Cleanse Is Working
- Impaired brain function.
- Sinus infection.
- Skin breakouts (not limited to face).
- Intestinal distress including bloating, gas, constipation and nausea.
- Sweating and fever.
When you start experiencing these Candida ‘die-off’ symptoms, it is indeed time to rejoice. The Candida is leaving your body and you will notice an increase in your energy levels in just a few weeks’ time. These symptoms will clear up in a week to ten days. After your symptoms have subsided and you are back to feeling normal again, do remember to continue having a diet that is high in protein and keep a high intake of fiber-rich vegetables. Limit your intake of grains, sugars, grains, and vegetables that are high in starch. Consuming fermented vegetables and kefir will also keep the level of Candida balanced in your body and also help you stay in good health.