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Candida Albicans

Candida Albicans

Description

Candida albicans is a fungus, small amounts of which are normal in the mouth, or digestive system. It only becomes a problem when it spreads out of control. an infection in the mouth or throat is termed: “thrush”.

A naturopathic doctor, with a rather unique background in veterinary medicine, is J. D. Wallach, DVM., ND. Dr. Wallach considers "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" to be a form of candidiasis, resulting from a yeast overgrowth i.e. the yeast overgrow the GI tract and spill over into the blood. This may be countered by restoring a proper balance of beneficial microflora e.g. acidophilus and he also recognizes herbal approaches, notably: Germanium.

 

Causes


Candida albicans, like many microorganisms, is a constituent of the normal body flora. While in the womb, the body is generally free of germs; however during descent through the birth canal, or within hours after birth, the body becomes colonized by microbes. Both the skin and mucous membranes are colonized first because they are accessible to the external environment.

Only a few species of microbes are adapted for survival on these exposed body surfaces. The nutritional requirements of the microorganisms and tissue characteristics, such as antibacterial fatty acids content of the skin, determine which species can successfully populate a particular body area.

Candida albicans is a normal resident of the skin and mucous membranes of the mouth, nasopharynx, intestinal tract, and vagina. These microorganisms usually do not produce disease; however, in the event a physiologic change occurs in the host, such as through trauma, a drastic change in diet, or a concurrent infection, a disorder may develop.

Antibiotics are widely acknowledged to be the leading cause of candidiasis as they kill all of the bacteria in the body, upsetting the natural balance and, of course, the fungus takes over once the antibiotics are completed. Moreover, the new yeast cells are now resistant to that antibiotic, so any future prescriptions will tend to be less effective and even more damaging.

Other causes include: lowered resistance to infection due to illness, diabetes mellitus, iron deficiency, anemia, drug abuse, radiation and chemotherapy, and drugs which suppress the immune system, such as those given after organ transplants, or corticosteroids, common in rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of thrush include: white, slightly raised patches in the mouth or throat; ulcer in the mouth and throat where the patches of fungus have been scraped off; and painful burning sensation in the mouth and throat.

For vaginal candidiasis, there may be a troublesome vaginal discharge, persistent itching or burning and it will usually be accompanied by urinary tract infection which may also reach the bladder.

Both of these better known varieties of candida may also be symptomatic of systemic candidiasis, in which the whole mucous membrane system of the body is overloaded by colonies of yeast cells and overflow into the blood circulation and other organs. This is likely to manifest as “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and be severely disabling.

Localized infections may only last a few days but a systemic condition may take years to overcome completely.

Candidiasis is the harmful infection of the skin or mucous membranes with Candida of any species. Candida albicans is the most common cause of candidiasis. Candida is considered an opportunistic fungus, being transmitted during sexual intercourse, childbirth, and even by the casual touching of hands.

All ages are susceptible to the disease. The prevalence of candidiasis has increased due to the use of antibiotics (which destroy the normal inhibitory bacterial flora) and immunosuppressive drugs, especially corticosteroids. Individuals susceptible to Candida infection include persons with diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, hypoadrenalism, AIDS and cell-mediated immune responses. Pregnant women are also prone to candidiasis.

Mucocutaneous infections by candida include: thrush, affecting the mouth; esophagitis, affecting the esophagus and throat; intestinal candidiasis, affecting the intestine; perianal candidiasis, affecting an infected anal region; intertrigo, affecting the axillae, groin, inframammary folds, and other warm, moist areas; paronchia, affecting hands and feet; onychomycosis, affecting nails; balantitis, affecting the penis; and vulvovaginitis, affecting the vagina.

The prevalence of vaginitis caused by Candida albicans is higher in women who use oral contraceptives and in postmenopausal women.

If candida enters the bloodstream, a systemic infection can occur; the eyes, kidneys, and skin are commonly affected. A systemic infection can also cause osteomyelitis, arthritis, meningitis or abscesses.

Endocarditis and pneumonia, affecting the bronchi and lungs, can also occur, but are relatively rare.
 

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Intestinal Health
        Immune System Support &
        Circulatory Support


---------------------------------
General Supplements
---------------------------------

 

Acidophilus ½ teasp. t.i.d.
Beta carotene 50,000 i.u.
EPO 1 - 3 g
Folic acid 400 - 800 mcg
Iron 45 mg
Magnesium (glycinate) 600 mg
Proanthocyanidins 100 mg.
Selenium 200 mcg
Vitamin A 10,000 i.u.
Vitamin B6 50 - 100 mg
Vitamin C 1,000 mg t.i.d.
Vitamin E 400 i.u.
Zinc (picolinate) 45 mg



Supplementing beneficial microflora is a standard practice. At one time this featured L-actobacillus acidophilus. Bifidus, or bulgaricus may be added and now there is increased recognition of the importance of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS).

To help remove the yeast overgrowth, without antibiotics, caprylic acid is popular. It is a fatty acid with antifungal properties.

Pharmaceutical agents are also available on prescription e.g. Nystatin. Of course, a major reason for candida is antibiotic use, with the destruction of microflora, both good and bad, such that the balance is lost.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
 

Nutrient Depletion

Both good and bad bacteria exist in the body. "Good" bacteria, known as intestinal flora, helps our digestive process and our ability to absorb nutrients from our food.

Flora produces vitamins B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, pantothenic acid, biotin and folic acid.

"Bad" bacteria enter our bodies through food and the air we breathe, and can cause infections and other serious problems. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria and, unfortunately cannot distinguish between the good and the bad. Research shows that the absence of good bacteria can cause problems with digestion, absorption of nutrients from food, as well as disorders such as yeast infections. Taking probiotic formulas with acidophilus and bifidus can replenish the good bacteria and support the proper intake of our vitamins and minerals.

References:

Crook, W.J. : The Yeast Connection.

Hamilton, H.K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases. Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Mahan, K. & Escott-Stump, S: Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Saunders, 1996.
 

Dietary Considerations

See the section on: the Anti-Candida Diet.

In a “nutshell”, these dietary recommendations eliminate: white foods i.e. dairy (milk is white), sweets (processed sugar), (white) breads, as well as fruits, fungae (e.g. mushrooms and wine), caffeine and alcohol.

You may ask: “What is left?”

Vegetarians are left with whole grains and vegetables as well as fish. Meat eaters may continue although many meats contain antibiotics, so it is recommended to select organic forms.

After the first month, other foods may be added one at a time. This is mostly because food allergies are common among candida patients.

Fruit selection can be a complex matter. Various authorities will recommend many different factors to consider, from whether the fruit is in season, to its acid content or fructose content. Cranberry juice, in particular, has received almost universal acclaim for helping with urinary tract infections. This is the natural variety not the sweetened blends! If you can’t tolerate it in this form, better opt for the capsules.

Liberal consumption of aromatic spices, like cinnamon, ginger, lemon balm (melissa) and rosemary, or garlic recipes, has the added benefit of antifungal activity.
 

Drug Interactions

The presence of antimycotics (antifungal drugs) can affect the activity of brewer's yeast.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Homeopathic Remedy

There are certain classical remedies, although modern blends are increasingly popular. One complication is that each company will have its own brand name products. Usually, there will be some hint of the intended usage e.g. Candidex, Yeastaway.
 

1.Candida Albicans tinct. 200X
2.Raphanus 15C
3.Torula cerevisiae 15C



Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preparations are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dosages.

Legend

X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
 

Herbal Approaches

----------
Herbs
-----------


Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai)
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Black walnut tree
Cinnamon
Echinacea
Garlic plant
German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Mushrooms (Maitake, Reishi and Shitake)
Pau d'arco
Sweetflag

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Discussion:

With the current preponderance of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a recent herbal review was able to recommend over 70 herbs for Candidiasis.

The diet is always a good place to start!

Antifungal activity is provided by liberal consumption of aromatic spices, like cinnamon, ginger, lemon balm (melissa) and rosemary, or garlic recipes. Cinnamon is a noted fungicide. (Bissett, 1995)

One novel approach uses medicinal mushrooms! (Maitake, Reishi and Shitake) [Hobbs, 1995] Apparently, the usual proviso about avoiding fungal foods does not apply to these mushrooms, which are quite exotic and a different class of organisms from Candida species. They are beneficial to the immune system.

Other choices depend upon the seriousness and duration of the disease. A disease of long-standing requires a therapy which can be tolerated over a long period of time, up to 9 months. The basic intestinal problem, over time, may involve the blood and other organ systems.

Besides Candida species, other parasites may also be involved. In which case Black walnut hulls may be efficacious. (Hobbs, 1996)

Echinacea has been used specifically against candida in trials. It is often compared to (and paired with) Goldenseal, which also has antibiotic and anti-infectious properties.

Garlic plant specifically inhibits candida albicans infections.

Geranium has a strong, healign effect on the entire gastrointestinal system.

German chamomile is Europe's "cure all", especially among women and children. It has an antimycotic property. It may be consumed as a tea or applied topically.

Pau d'arco is antifungal. (Hobbs, 1996) As with Tea tree oil, it may even be used internally via a tampon for vaginal Candidiasis.

Sweetflag is noted for its abilities to open orifices and vaporize mucous. (Bensky, 1986)

These herbs have approval status by the German Commission E regarding their antifungal action:

Cinnamon bark
Cloves
Garlic plant
Sage leaf

References:

Bensky, D et al., Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Eastland Press, Seattle. 1986.

Bissett, N (Ed): Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practcie on a Scientific Basis. Medpharm. Stuttgart. 1995.

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

HobbsC: Medicinal Mushrooms. Botanica Press, Santa Cruz, CA. 1995.

HobbsC: Naturopathic specific condition review: Candidiasis. The Protocol J. of Botanical medicine, Winter 1996:53-55.

Scalzo, R: Therapeutic Botanical protocol for Candidiasis. The Protocol J. of Botanical medicine, Winter 1996:63-76.

Walji, H: Candida: looking after inner health. Natural Health Series, Kian Press, 1997.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

 

Eucalyptus Essence, Patchouli Essence  
Tea Tree Essence.  



Bath
 

3 drops Eucalyptus Essence
2 drops Patchouli Essence
6 drops Tea Tree Essence



Soak daily.

Body oil
 

4 oz carrier oil
10 drops Rosemary Essence
10 drops Tea Tree Essence
8 drops Geranium Essence
8 drops Lavender Essence
6 drops Thyme Essence
4 drops Patchouli Essence



Use daily.

 

Related Health Conditions

        Abscesses
        AIDS
        Anemia
        Arthritis
        Auto immune disorders
        Balantitis
        Candidiasis
        Diabetes mellitus,
        Esophagitis,
        Hypoadrenalism
        Hypoparathyroidism
        Hypothyroidism
        Infection
        Meningitis
        Onychomycosis
        Osteomyelitis
        Paronchia
        Pregnancy
        Thrush
        Vaginitis
        Vulvovaginitis

 

Abstracts

References

Bhutta ZA et al., Factors determining recovery during nutritional therapy of persistent diarrhoea: the impact of diarrhoea severity and intercurrent infections. Acta Paediatr, 1997 Aug, 86:8, 796-802.

Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Crook, W.J. & Stevens, L. J. : Solving the Puzzle of Your Hard-to-Raise Child. Professional Books.

Crook, W.J. : The Yeast Connection.

el-Ebiary M et al.: Significance of the isolation of Candida species from respiratory samples in critically ill, non-neutropenic patients. An immediate postmortem histologic study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 1997 Aug, 156:2 Pt 1, 583-90.

Hamilton, H.K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases. Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hidaka, H. et al: Effects of Fructo-oligosaccharides on Intestinal Flora and Human Health. Bifidobacteria Microflora. 1986, 5 (1): 37 - 50.

Hidaka, H. et al: Proliferation of Bifidobacteria by Oligosaccharides and their Useful Effect on Human Health. Bifidobacteria Microflora, 1990, 10(1): 65 - 79.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Kunz, J.R.M. 1982. The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide. Random House Pub, New York. 832 pp.

Lewis WJ & Sherertz RJ: Microbial interactions with catheter material. Nutrition, 1997 Apr, 13:4 Suppl, 5S-9S.

Matee MI et al., Association between carriage of oral yeasts and malnutrition among Tanzanian infants aged 6-24 months. Oral Dis, 1995 Mar, 1:1, 37-42.

McDonnell M & Isaacs D: Neonatal systemic candidiasis. J Paediatr Child Health, 1995 Dec, 31:6, 490-2.

Michalopoulos A et al., Systemic candidiasis in cardiac surgery patients. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg, 1997 Apr, 11:4, 728-31.

Mitsuoka, T. : Recent Trends in Research on Intestinal Flora. Bifidobacteria Microflora,1982 (1): 3024.

Pacheco-R?os A et al.: Mortality associated with systemic candidiasis in children. Arch Med Res, 1997 Summer, 28:2, 229-32.

Scheutz F et al., Association between carriage of oral yeasts, malnutrition and HIV-1 infection among Tanzanian children aged 18 months to 5 years. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol, 1997 Jun, 25:3, 193-8.

Thomas, C.L. 1985. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Co. Pub., Philadelphia. 2170 pp.

Trowbridge, P. & Walker, M.: The Yeast Syndrome.

Van Amerongen, C. The Way Things Work; Book Of The Body. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.

Wallach, J. D. DVM., ND.: Let's Play Doctor. 1994. Double Happiness Publishing Co. Bonita, CA.

Wyngaarden, J.B. & L.H. Smith. 1985. Cecil's Textbook of Medicine. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 2341.
 

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