Candida is generally referred to the overgrowth of Candida in the body. The correct name of the disease is Candidiasis. Candida is a type of yeast that is present in everyone. It is part of the flora that exists in the digestive tract. It is normally countered by what is commonly known as friendly bacteria, which keeps it at low levels. Candida has the potential of converting from yeast to fungus. Once it converts to a fungus, it behaves as one and can cause multiple problems. Athlete’s foot is a common example of a fungal infection.
Candidiasis causes multiple symptoms. It can affect the digestive, respiratory, nervous and reproductive systems to a large extent. Some of the significant symptoms of the disease include:
- Digestive System
- Abdominal gas
- Irritable bowel symptoms
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Nervous system
- Headaches and migranes
- Confusion and cognitive impaiment
- Depresion and mood swings
- Acne and eczema
- Athlete's foot
- Common rheumatoid disorders (no involving the joins) characterized by achy pain, tenderness and stffness of muscles
- Sensitivity to chemicals, including perfumes
- Persistent cough and earaches
- Rectal irritiation
- Inflammation of the vagina
- Post menstrual syndrome
Conventional Candida treatments mostly involve over-the-counter drugs.
- For genital Candiasisem>, creams containing anti-fungal agents like Miconazole, Tioconazole, Butoconazole and Clotrimazole are recommended for topical application.
- For thrush, an anti-fungal agent like nystatin is adviced for gargling and rinsing in moth
- For skin and diaper rashes, Clotrimazole creams and lotions are applied to treat superficial skin infections
Prescription drugs involve medicines that block the production of ergosterol, a plant sterol that is converted into vitaminD by ultravioletradiation. Ergosterol is vital for the growth of Candida albicans and its absence weakens the cells walls. The weakened cell walls begin to leak and the yeast is ultimately destroyed. Amphotericin B is used by doctors for systemic yeast infection treatments.
There is a wide difference in the approach taken by those who practice mainstream medicine and those that opt for the holistic approach of alternative medicines for yeast infection treatment. Natural approaches like traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda believe that Candida or Candiasis manifests mainly as gastrointestinal distress and skin and oropharyngeal symptoms.
Alternative medicine focuses on obtaining Candida balance by diet modifications and colon cleansing. Colon cleansing involves enemas with plain water or water mixed with an antifungal agent derived from soil fungi.
Diet modification normally revolves around avoiding foods with high sugar and carbohydrate content. It is believed that Candida albicans derives its food for growth from sugar. The right way is to balance between your body’s needs and excess that is likely to become fuel for the yeast to grow.
Prognosis is very encouraging. Mild to moderate symptoms can be cured by colon cleansing and topical treatments. Severe instances and patients with a compromised immune system may require hospitalization and intravenous medications. The best preventive measure, however, is a diet that restricts Candida growth by maintaining good oral and general hygiene.